Jacinda Ardern reveals the two things that need to happen before Australians can travel to New Zealand – and it means the ‘bubble’ could be open VERY soon
- Trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries could be open by January
- Kiwis could be allowed to fly into Australia by November with no quarantine
- Jacinda Ardern revealed the two steps needed before bubble goes ahead
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has finally revealed the two steps that need to be taken before a trans-Tasman travel bubble can go ahead.
Leaders in both Australia and New Zealand have been working hard to carve out a plan to allow residents to travel between both nations without having to quarantine.
The aim is to have the bubble up and running by early next year.
But Ms Ardern says her government needs assurance there will be minimal risk of the virus being brought into New Zealand from Australia.
Leaders in both Australia and New Zealand have been working hard to carve out a plan to allow residents to travel between both nations without having to quarantine (Pictured: A passenger from a Qantas flight from Melbourne wait in line in Sydney on August 8)
Speaking to the Today Show on Wednesday, she said Australia needs to define what it means by a ‘coronavirus hotspot’.
The nation would also need to establish plans of containment should another outbreak occur across states, she said.
‘What you can see is that we do want to make it work, we want it to be safe, we want everyone to be comfortable with it and know that we are safeguarding our own strategies as we do it,’ she said.
‘What we will need to work through is what the definition of a hot spot really means? At what point will Australia say, ”That’s an area we will put up a bit of a border around and won’t have travel to”.
‘That will determine whether or not in our minds that will be sufficient just to keep everybody safe.’
She said the government is open to making separate agreements with states with low or no cases to help boost the tourism industry.
New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has finally revealed the two steps that need to be taken before a tran-Tasman travel bubble can go ahead
NSW premier Gladys Berejiklian said she would be happy to be the first state to welcome Kiwis back.
WHAT IS THE TRANS-TASMAN BUBBLE
Australia and New Zealand have discussed the possibility of a ‘trans-Tasman bubble’.
The bubble would allow residents from both countries to travel across the ditch without having to endure a mandatory 14-day isolation period.
The idea has been raised as both countries have been successful in controlling the outbreak of the coronavirus.
She said she felt comfortable to be looking at these opportunities as it would be a boost to the hospitality and tourism industries.
‘New Zealand has very low cases, I don’t mean it in a disrespectful way, but they’re like another state of Australia when you look at the number of cases,’ she said.
Karl Stefanovic then jumped in suggesting Ms Berejiklian should be the premier of New Zealand as well.
‘There are so many Kiwis living in NSW, in Bondi in particular I almost feel like you are the premier of New Zealand.’
On Tuesday, Mr Morrison said people flying into Australia from overseas could soon be allowed to quarantine at home, asking officials to look into the proposal.
Ms Ardern said New Zealand was unlikely to follow suit, saying ‘quarantine-free travel is our version of that’.
‘I do think there’s something to be said at looking at the other end, thinking about whether or not for high-risk countries we need to have, an additional element of extra self-isolation,’ she said.
Ms Ardern said opening up to Pacific nations – beginning with the Cook Islands – was ‘absolutely’ still part of New Zealand’s re-engagement with the world.
‘The threshold that we’ll set will meet the Cooks’ expectations,’ she said.