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Jacinda Ardern Says Quarantine-Free Travel Between NZ And Australia Is Likely Before Christmas

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Jacinda Ardern Says Quarantine-Free Travel Between NZ And Australia Is Likely Before Christmas

We've been given our best indication yet that the 'Trans-Tasman bubble' between New Zealand and Australia will come before 2020 is through.

Authorities in both countries have been working hard to get a quarantine-free travel system set up to allow people to see relatives, conduct business and take a well-earned holiday.

There have been loads of conflicting reports about when we could expect to see such a bubble installed and whether it would affect the whole of Australia at once, or simply operate on a state-by-state basis.

When asked by Sunrise presenters Kochie and Sam, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it could be done by Christmas.

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Credit: PA
Credit: PA

"I th‌ink we're all looking for that outcome," she said this morning.

"As much as we hate to admit it, I think we miss each other."

The efforts to set the bubble up sooner were hampered by Victoria's and Auckland's second waves of coronavirus infections.

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Australia initially wanted to open itself up to New Zealand as a whole, which meant states and territories with little to no active cases were being held back by Victoria and New South Wales.

However, when dozens of cases started popping up in New Zealand, the travel bubble had to be put on hold to allow both countries the chance to get on top of the outbreaks.

Ardern believes that Australia still has some work to do on ensuring people from hotspot areas are fit for travel. Once those things are ironed out, it could get the green light.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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"We'll be looking to what decision you make as to what qualifies as a 'hot spot' but I do think this opens up some opportunities," she said.

Having a hotspot area system would allow everyone in a particular state or territory to travel across the Tasman, without being held back if a few cases occur in a suburb.

The NZ Prime Minister added in a separate interview that there could even be a one-way system setup until Australia can be sure the rate of transmission is as low as possible.

"There is a chance that we could have Australia simply open to New Zealand because of our status and where we are right now, which is pretty good," she told AAP.

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"They could just say, 'Well look one way [travel from New Zealand to Australia] is fine by us,' until we work through some of the detail, and it's a possibility."

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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