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The Australian Government has all but made the decision for any rally fans hoping to travel across the Tasman for September's Rally New Zealand. Even worse, Rally New Zealand is now under severe threat of even taking place, let alone hosting WRC teams or spectators from around the world. New regulations announced by the Morrison Government have put a ban on international travel for six months – a timeframe that could even be increased if the Coronavirus pandemic doesn't improve.
This means that any travel to New Zealand is banned until at least September 18 – two weeks after Rally New Zealand is set to finish.
Michael Goldstein, CEO of Rally New Zealand, told RallySport Magazine today that, like the rest of the world, they were waiting to see what would happen. The international travel bans mean that it's highly unlikely that any World Rally Championship event will be held until at least the second half of the year. Rally Mexico winner, Sebastien Ogier, was critical that that event was held last weekend when the rest of the sporting world was shutting down. While many drivers may still wish to be competing, the simple fact is that most won't be allowed to travel, putting a line through the next few events at least. All this is terrible news for Rally New Zealand, who have only a one-off appearance in the WRC. Should their event not be held this year, their WRC return could well be over before it even began. Rally Australia is set to return to the WRC in 2021.

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