Australia NZ travel bubble won’t happen by Christmas, Jacinda Ardern says

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has squashed any hope of Australians being able to see their Kiwi friends by Christmas, despite our neighbours across the ditch being allowed into most of our states and territories.

It was hoped a trans-Tasman bubble could be locked in before the end of the year, allowing Australians and Kiwis to travel unrestricted between the two nations.

However, Australia’s adoption of a strategy that seeks to suppress coronavirus, rather than eliminate like New Zealand is trying to do, left Ms Ardern with little choice.

The recent outbreak in South Australia – that now has 20 cases linked to it – also added to the NZ PM’s reservations.

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New Zealand is unlikely to open the travel bubble by Christmas. Picture: David Gray/AFPSource:AFP

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“What’s happening in South Australia only further reinforces the importance of having a good understanding of how Australia intends to manage their internal borders when there are outbreaks,” Ms Ardern told reporters.

“If they have an outbreak but they are instituting strong border controls, then it’s manageable. But if they have a tolerance level for community transmission that’s higher than ours, then it is problematic.

“What this underscores is why it’s so important that New Zealand has not rushed into this.”

Kiwis are free to travel to NSW, the Northern Territory and Victoria without quarantining for two weeks, however the travel arrangement is yet to be reciprocated for Aussies.

Ms Ardern said she did not “have the necessary protections” to promise a trans-Tasman bubble.

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