New Zealand PM joins National Cabinet to discuss trans-Tasman travel

Elias Hubbard
May 5, 2020

The prime ministers agreed to commence work on a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone - easing travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand. Any move to open the global border would need to take into account state and territory movement restrictions in Australia. But travel and tourism remain locked down when it comes to Hawaii, and most other locations.

While stressing normalising travel between the two countries was still a way off, Morrison said it was important to flag the in-principle commitment, "because it is part of the road back".

What did Jacinda Ardern say?

"We see that in business and corporate traffic, where people have to travel for business purposes, and we believe there'll be a whole bunch of families who want to reconnect", he tells Executive Traveller.

But she said visitors from further afield were not possible any time soon.

Australia and New Zealand said on Tuesday efforts to resume travel between the two countries would take some time, as they cautiously re-open their mostly shuttered economies after containing outbreaks of the novel coronavirus.

"When we feel comfortable and confident that we both won't receive cases from Australia, but equally that we won't export them, then that will be the time to move".

"When we are seeing Australians travel from Melbourne to Cairns - at about that time I would expect, everything being equal - we would be able to fly from Melbourne to Auckland or Christchurch or things like that".

The joint statement said once the travel zone was up and running, the two countries would look to pursue opportunities in the region.

Ardern has said the Government is focused on travel between New Zealand and Australia rather than with other Pacific nations for now, because of the "huge risk" if the coronavirus found its way into Pacific Island nations that are yet untouched by the virus.

They're also expected to discuss Australia's CovidSafe app, with New Zealand trying to roll out something similar as well.

- ANZLF manages business-led Sector Groups focused on driving change across five key areas: Innovation, Tourism, Health Technology, Infrastructure, and Indigenous Business, while working closely with the Australian and New Zealand governments on the Single Economic Market (SEM) Agenda.

Mr Morrison acknowledged the reopening of the borders between Australia and New Zealand was the first logical step to opening up again to the rest of the world.

New Zealand on Tuesday reported its second straight day with zero new cases, while Australia reported 24 on Monday. Queensland's border with New South Wales has been closed for a month.

Infectious disease expert Professor Peter Collignon told Daily Mail Australia that prohibition on worldwide travel - with the exception of New Zealand - is likely to remain in place until after winter.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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