NZ PM Jacinda Ardern says the ‘travel bubble’ is up to Australian leaders

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says reopening borders between Australia and New Zealand is now up to Australian leaders.

Travel across the ditch was suspended during the COVID-19 pandemic, so the prospect of a trans-Tasman bubble has kept would-be tourists from both countries on the edge of their seats.

Ms Ardern says she won’t risk the return of transmission of the disease in her country, so the reopening of borders will come down to how Australian leaders handle COVID-19 infection rates here.

“Ultimately it’s up to Australia to decide whether or not they’ll go for a whole of country approach, or a state-by-state approach,” she said.

“Obviously, where there is community outbreak that is a no-go for New Zealand.

“Where they have border controls in place, and where they’ve had no community transmissions for sustained periods of time, that may be a different scenario.”

New Zealand has not recorded a positive test outside of its border regime in five weeks, according to the Daily Mail.

Earlier this month, a group endorsed by both country’s governments offered a blueprint on how to resume regular travel across the ditch during COVID-19.

The NZ government is already doing what needs to be done to reopen borders but awaits further action from Australia.

Ms Ardern previously said that September was a realistic target for the bubble, but in light of recent upticks in COVID-19 cases here, won’t give a time lines, as New Zealand will not risk its COVID-free status.

If Australian cases surge, New Zealand may instead look to the Pacific, as island nations such as Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, the Cook Islands haven’t registered a single case of the virus throughout the pandemic.

Fiji hasn’t had a case for 72 days and is in dire need of restarting their tourism-based economy.

However, Ms Ardern is focusing on Australia, but won’t open a border to anyone “until we have reassurances that New Zealanders will be safe”.

“Any suggestion of borders opening at this point, frankly, is dangerous and I don’t think we should put New Zealand in that position,” she said.

How keen are you to get to New Zealand?

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RELATED LINKS

What is a ‘travel bubble’ and which countries look likely to get one?

Pacific countries want to be included in the trans-Tasman bubble.

Australia and New Zealand may create a trans-Tasman travel bubble

Australians may be allowed to travel overseas sooner than we may have thought.

When is the best time to book your New Zealand snow trip?

Immanuel Debeer explores the possibility of a trans-Tasman trip across the ditch.

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca is a voracious reader who loves words. You'll often find him spending time in galleries, writing, designing, painting, drawing, or photographing and documenting street art. He has a publishing and graphic design background and loves movies and music, but then, who doesn’t?

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7 Comments

Total Comments: 7
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    I will be devastated if I can’t get to NZ fir my annual trip at Christmas to visit my daughter and grandchildre.

  2. 0
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    I am hoping to take my daughter to see the galciers in NZ when the bubble opens. No set time frame for that though. Would like to go in November though.

  3. Profile Photo
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    I think you need to add a postscript to this article because the Australian Government has suspended all international travel! So, whilst it is all well and good that International countries are happy to accept Australian travellers, we are not allowed to go!! Some of us can’t even travel to other States within Australia!

    • 0
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      Thanks for mentioning that important point, AJ. Often overlooked. We booked a trip to Cairns and hopefully that will happen. Wanted to go to Cook Islands with the NZ bubble but that will wait for another time.

  4. 0
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    I had a trip planned to go round the north island in March/April. Of course that did not happen. I have sort of gone off the idea now!

  5. 0
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    Why would we want to open a bubble with NZ. That will be a mostly one way tap, funnelling tourists & money better spent at home, across the Tasman. The return flow will be much less.

    Better tell tourists to support Ozzie destinations for a while.

  6. 0
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    I have been to NZ many times. Going again just because it is an overseas destination ranks very low on my list of priorities and I would much rather be going to other countries where I have very good friends and things I want to do.
    The only thing that would attract me to New Zealand would be a significant Orienteering Event and that is unlikely anytime soon.


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