Jacinda Arderns says Australia and New Zealand “both stand to benefit” from opening back up travel and exports across the Tasman
Speaking after discussions with the Australian National Cabinet, Ms Ardern said travel a travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand would not incur the typical quarantine restrictions currently in place for travel.
“New Zealand is Australia’s largest source of tourists apart from China with 1.6 million Aussies visiting us,” she said.
“So we both stand to benefit from getting travel up and running again.
“The whole purpose of us discussing the possibility of having a bubble of sorts between us, a safe zone of travel, would be so that you wouldn’t have to have a quarantine attached, I think everyone would acknowledge it would be prohibitive.”
However, the “bubble” could be changed if coronavirus outbreaks occurred in different States.
“We would have some expectations of when travel resumes or if we’re able to establish this kind of bubble to make sure we do it safely for us,” Ms Ardern said.
“That would mean if we were seeing a cluster of cases or growth in cases or outbreaks we would have to look at changing what we were doing and receiving on our side but ultimately I see it as part of arrangement to be made between the states and a federal level.”
Ms Ardern is the first New Zealand PM to join the Australian National Cabinet since during WW2.
She said increasing economic relations between the countries’ business communities also needed to be a priority.
“We are Australia’s largest export market, 18,000 Aussie businesses trade with New Zealand which means we are especially critical for Australian SMEs so the case for increasing economic relations when safe is clear,” Ms Ardern said.
A statement about the possibility of a Trans-Tasman bubble is expected after National Cabinet formerly concludes later today.
Watch: Jacinda Ardern updates on New Zealand’s COVID-19 response
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