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Q1 Trans-Tasman Bubble Still On The Cards, Says Ardern

Despite Australia putting a 72-hour pause on the one-way quarantine free flights from New Zealand on Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, believes the Trans-Tasman bubble is still "doable".

Despite Australia putting a 72-hour pause on the one-way quarantine free flights from New Zealand on Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, believes the Trans-Tasman bubble is still “doable”.

Jacinda Ardern is holding the line on a first-quarter trans-Tasman bubble with Australia, believing it is still possible despite new community cases of coronavirus in New Zealand.

“We still hold that ambition,” she said in Auckland on Thursday, despite a squabble with Australia over its border arrangements.

While all international arrivals to New Zealand have been forced into a fortnight of hotel quarantine on arrival since April, Australian states have relaxed restrictions to Kiwis travelling to Australia from late last year.

On Monday, the Australian government reinstated the 14-day quarantine requirements in response to a new case in the community north of Auckland.

Ms Ardern criticised that decision, saying she told Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison of her disappointment, and that Kiwi health authorities had the situation “well under control”.

She said New Zealand was sharing information with Australia in the hope of reopening the border.

“I’ve never got the sense that would be a long term position for them. They are ultimately just waiting for a bit more information,” she said.

“I’ve asked … officials provide all the information that we have so they can make their decisions. We absolutely want them to have the confidence we have in our system.”

Zorb-New-Zealand

Trans-Tasman bubble discussions have previously fallen over based on the two governments’ differing views on the number of cases required to produce a lockdown.

Under its hotspot model, Australia proposed to lock down areas only when community cases reached 30 over three days.

New Zealand wouldn’t tolerate that, believing the tolerance level to be too high.

Given Australia has moved to suspend the border opening based on just one case, Kiwis have found this week’s decision tough to stomach.

Since Australia’s decision, a further two people have tested positive for the virus in the community – though, crucially, there has been no evide nce of community transmission.

The Labour prime minister said she would look to pursue state-by-state bubble arrangements if a whole-of-Australia approach was too difficult.

“What we want to make sure though is that when we enter into an arrangement, we don’t have a situation where we leave people stranded,”

New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

“I think both (countries) are concerned about that and there are good commercial reasons to be concerned about that too,” she said.

Source: AAP.

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