Trans-Tasman travel bubble announcement imminent

By Te Ao - Māori News

Prime Minister Jacinda Adern has indicated when a decision will be announced on quarantine-free travel between Australia and Aotearoa.

At an announcement today the Prime Minister acknowledged that this week marks one year since New Zealand went into level four lockdown for the first time.

"Opening up our borders to our nearest neighbour is a priority," she says. However, there are still safety precautions the government needs to work through.

"We intend to announce the commencement date of a trans-Tasman bubble on April 6."

Trans-Tasman travel woes

Other politicians think a trans-Tasman bubble is possible now and Act party leader David Seymour is critical of the delay.

He says Australians have been progressively moving between states since late last year, which is when they should have been allowed to travel here quarantine-free.

Last week the National Party released a petition, calling on to open a travel safe trans-Tasman bubble and it received more than 42,000 signatures.

National party leader Judith Collins says New Zealanders deserve a travel bubble with Australia and the benefits it brings. 

“Our tourism industry is on its knees. A bubble would be the lifeline they need," she says.

“Managed isolation is overrun with long delays because 40 per cent of places are being taken up by Kiwis returning from Australia where there is little if any risk of Covid-19.

“A bubble will free up space, meaning more room for Kiwis abroad trying to get home."

National's Covid-19 response spokesperson Chris Bishop says the government should not delay things any longer.

“Our tourism sector is crying out for this. The longer the government waits, the more jobs we will lose and the more businesses we will see close down."