Labour leader Jacinda Ardern says there’s work underway to get a trans-Tasman travel bubble in place because Australians and Kiwis “miss each other.”
Ardern told Channel 9’s Today Show this morning: “Firstly, we should just acknowledge that we do, as strange as it might sound, actually miss each other.
“So, we have been working quite hard to try and get some arrangements underway.”
She said the possibility of the travel bubble could be expedited because Australia had changed its proposal to only requiring Covid-19 “hotspots” be contained, rather than requiring inter-state travel to be happening in the country.
“So we're just working through what that would mean,” Ardern said of the new proposal.
“Look, for New Zealand, we have had a plan and a strategy of just having our community free of Covid. So, we will just need to make sure that that hotspot regime works on our side too.”
She said it was up to Australian authorities to answer questions about how they would manage the “hotspots”.
“We would just need to be comfortable that if there is a flare-up, that it’s contained.”
This meant that New Zealand needed to be sure that people in the “hotspots” wouldn’t be able to fly across the Tasman, and arrangements would be in place to make sure travellers between the two countries wouldn’t be mixing with others in airports and on flights, Ardern said.
She said insisting on this would mean Australians who visited New Zealand would be able to move around freely.
Ardern said she was also open to continuing to consider opening travel bubbles with specific states, but that this decision was up to Australian authorities.
Plans for a trans-Tasman bubble were progressing earlier this year before the surge of Covid-19 cases in Victoria.