Good News: Jacinda Ardern Says NZ Is Ready To Have (Some) Aussies Over To Travel Again
Good-ish news travellers: you might not be waiting as long as you thought before your next overseas trip.
Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand now has the framework to allow visitors in from Australia, but that the hold-up in actually letting us travellers do our thing again lies in the Aussie govt wanting to wait until all our states are coronavirus-free. Given the current situation in Victoria, this travel bubble thing could take a while longer yet.
"At the moment, Australia wants to move as a country rather than state-by-state, and obviously issues in Victoria are delaying that," the NZ PM told TVNZ. “We have a system that would work with a state-by-state approach or a whole country approach; if it’s whole country we’ll be waiting because obviously there is community transmission in Victoria and we can’t risk that.”
Victoria recorded 74 new coronavirus cases between Saturday and Sunday and 124 cases overnight – that's the largest daily increase for the state since the pandemic began. Dan Andrews confirmed in a presser this morning that there are 31 Victorians with coronavirus in hospital, five of those people are in intensive care.
Two new postcodes are under stay-at-home orders in Victoria and nine public housing towers have been placed under a "complete lockdown" with immediate effect. https://t.co/1UY6DPVeLI
— Twitter Moments Australia (@MomentsAU) July 4, 2020
Jacinda Ardern said the framework for the Aussie-NZ travel bubble would act as an example to other countries. “We have focused our efforts first and foremost on that trans-Tasman work, it gives us a model and a testing ground to make sure we can do it properly and we can do it right,” she said.
Ardern also made mention of other potential NZ travel bubbles, saying she was in talks with countries in the Pacific. “We want to make sure when we re-enter travel there we do it safely,” she said. “Some Pacific nations don’t want to move yet.”
When asked if NZ would wait until a COVID-19 vaccine was found before it lifted all border restrictions, Jacinda Ardern said, "no, not necessarily".
"Not just a vaccine, but whether we see an effective treatment for COVID, whether or not we see fast and reliable testing emerge, which could play a role in an exit strategy at borders, and whether or not we see a change in pattern to the way COVID is spreading."
"What will overlay all of our judgement and all of our work will be making sure we don't put at risk the freedoms New Zealand currently has." Ah, to be in NZ right now.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
Main Image Credit: Licensed by Getty
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