Damn: Jacinda Ardern Is Hitting Pause On The NZ Travel Bubble
Say it isn't so. Jacinda Ardern confirmed that plans for the trans-Tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia have been put on hold, due to Victoria's outbreak.
When asked about the situation in Victoria yesterday (Monday), dubbed a “state of disaster”, Ardern called it a “major step back for trans-Tasman travel”, reports Stuff. “Obviously this is going to be some time away now,” she added.
Later, on The AM Show, Ardern said Australia would need for all community transmission to halt for at least 28 days. “Anywhere where we have COVID-free travel they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time – that will be some time for Australia,” Ardern said. “It will be on the back burner for several months.”
The NZ govt apparently was also considering opening up to Australia state by state, but it looks like that strategy’s also been put on hold.
Yesterday (Monday), Victoria announced 429 new cases and 13 more deaths overnight – the deadliest day since the pandemic began. Melbourne is currently under stage four restrictions, kicking off Sunday, August 2 and set to last six weeks. You can read more about what you now can't and can't do in Melbourne here.
And a full breakdown of the changes is available here: pic.twitter.com/LevLIefSOL
— Dan Andrews (@DanielAndrewsMP) August 2, 2020
Ardern's comments come as a blow for Aussies keen on overseas travel, as NZ was shaping up to be one of our few hopes for an international holiday. Last month, ScoMo said that while we don’t have a vaccine developed for coronavirus, overseas travel would be “very challenging”. “Right now the opportunity for large-scale travel beyond our borders is not foreseeable,” he said. “I would hope and expect that before the end of the year, New Zealand and Australia would be able to agree on a safe travel zone.” Watch this space.
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