Australia’s Chief Medical Officer says he “certainly would welcome” it if New Zealand reconsidered its position on the current one-way quarantine-free travel arrangement.
Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly urged New Zealand to reconsider Australia’s “own epidemiological situation and maybe have something a bit more reciprocal than we've currently got at this stage”.
New Zealanders can travel to all states in Australia, except for Western Australia, without having to quarantine for 14 days. But Australians can’t currently come to New Zealand quarantine-free.
“But we are in close discussions with our New Zealand colleagues all the time on that one,” Kelly said of two-way quarantine-free travel.
“We have had many tens of thousands of people come across the ditch in the last few months [and] not a single case,” he added.
Last month, the New Zealand Government agreed in principle to establish a two-way travel bubble with Australia before March this year.
It relies on no significant development of the Covid situation in both countries, and the sign off from Australia's Cabinet, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
She said contingency plans needed to be in place in the event of an outbreak in Australia.
More recently, Ardern indicated she had spoken to Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison yesterday, saying the two countries are working “quite closely together” on the regulatory work around vaccine approval.