Travel bubble on the backburner for some time, says NZ PM

Ms Ardern says community transmission numbers are still ‘too high’.

Travel bubble on the backburner for some time, says NZ PM

A travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been firmly placed on the backburner, says NZ Prime Minister Jacinta Arden.

Ms Ardern expressed concern about community transmission of the virus in Australia, saying it was too high to consider opening New Zealand’s borders to Australians, according to a Travel Weekly report.

She also offered support to Victorians entering a state of disaster and stage four restrictions earlier this week, saying Victoria’s situation was heartbreaking.

“It’s incredibly difficult to see our cousins over the ditch going through this,” she said.

“It’s also a message to us to continue to maintain our vigilance.”

As to when we might see the bubble created, Ms Ardern said: “Part of our criteria is anywhere we have quarantine-free travel, they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time, 28 days.

“That is going to take a long time for Australia … so that will be on the backburner for some time. Their numbers at the moment are very high.

“Dan Andrews himself said they were looking like being in that position for months, which is why they’ve gone into their lockdown.”

The New Zealand PM added that she would be happy to talk to any Australian or world leaders in need of advice or support through the lockdowns.

“Dan Andrews and those in Australia that we’ve had contact with certainly know we are available at any point to talk through all lessons learned,” she said.

“We’ve all learnt them and we’re all still learning from them.

“I have sympathy for every world leader dealing with COVID right now. It is incredibly difficult.

“There is a bit of camaraderie amongst leaders because we are all facing the challenges of economic downturn, a global financial crisis and the ongoing effects of managing the health response. It is a very tricky virus.”

While the trans-Tasman bubble between Australia and New Zealand may be a while away, a link between the Cook Islands and New Zealand may be only a few weeks off.

“I imagine I at least will be able to give a set time frame within the next couple of weeks, where we can start talking about dates,” she said.

Were you planning on going to NZ once the bubble was created?

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    fish head
    8th Aug 2020
    3:15pm
    This is a pointless effort given the closure of State borders and the unknown direction the pandemic may take. If it was written in a misguided effort to cheer us up, forget it. You missed by a mile. All your article did was reinforce the problem. No one knows what trajectory we are on which is causing immeasurable angst in the general community and downright fear in parts of the older population. What we need is factual reassurance not nice futuristic daydreams. Daydreams will be fine when we can see an end to the corona crisis.Even Trump affords a bit of light relief.
    Farside
    8th Aug 2020
    5:34pm
    She should call the cousins in WA and arrange NZ-Perth flights.
    bobm
    8th Aug 2020
    6:50pm
    Good to see PM of NZ requires community transmission for a period of time, 28 days.
    She should take a look at WA, no community transmission since April or thereabouts.
    How about direct flight Perth- Auckland return, both countries, no community transmission over 28 days.
    I can understand her reluctance with Victoria,and NSW plus QLD may have concerns by closing the southern borders, I don't blame her. No flights between Melb and Sydney fine. I can understand the 4hrs + from Melb and Sydney to Auckland so many trips can be made in a day. Perth Auckland 6hrs + reduced flights may not be cost effective, however at least allow tourist from both places to travel.
    Suggest all travellers have a Virus test approx 7 days prior to flight, on arrival another test to ensure cleared and a contact phone or address at each end of the flight.
    At least this could be considered instead of a blanket NO
    Mariner
    9th Aug 2020
    8:35am
    Would there be enough demand by Kiwis to go to WA and the other way round? Kiwis are all around me here in Queensland, in WA I met many South Africans, Rhodesians but hardly a New Zealander.


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