Victoria Could Be Excluded From The AUS-NZ Travel Bubble To Allow It To Happen Faster
The long-touted travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand has found itself in a difficult position.
Australia has been wanting to open up to its Kiwi neighbour as a whole country, however the situation in Victoria means the rest of the nation will be waiting a long time before that's brought under control.
But, New Zealand has revealed that we could go state-by-state, territory-by-territory if we wanted the travel bubble sooner.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has revealed that her country has the framework ready to welcome Australian travellers and it now depends on how Australia wants to proceed.
Speaking to TVNZ, the PM said: "At the moment, Australia wants to move as a country rather than state-by-state, and obviously issues in Victoria are delaying that.
"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."
So essentially, if Victoria was left off the list, then pretty much everywhere else in the country would be allowed to travel to New Zealand without having to quarantine for two weeks.
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Nearly every state and territory in Australia, except for Victoria and New South Wales, have had little to no new coronavirus cases and that's the big criteria for New Zealand.
Ms Ardern said: "Some of the states have actually put their own borders up, so they've created their own state bubbles, and so if Australia chose to say, 'Well OK, we have a COVID-free state,' and they're in a position where they can travel that would be up to them.
"It will come down to Australia really making those calls, but in the meantime we are of course making sure we have our house in order and our decision making framework ready to go."
Looks like the ball is in Scott Morrison's court as well as the National Cabinet's to see whether they would be keen to do a state-by-state approach or hold off until everyone is free to travel.
New South Wales will close its border with Victoria tomorrow at midnight (July 7), as the state tried to prevent a similar spike in new coronavirus cases.
Featured Image Credit: PA