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Talks about trans-Tasman bubble reopening 'a fair way away' - Hipkins

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says it's "unrealistic to expect" any "speedy decisions" around the reopening of the trans-Tasman bubble in the next few weeks.

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The Covid-19 Response Minister says we shouldn't expect a decision in the next few weeks. Source: 1 NEWS

"I'm aware that our initial indication of the length of time that we were suspending the bubble for is drawing close," Hipkins told reporters following the Covid-19 case update on Wednesday afternoon.

"I think it would be unrealistic to expect that there will be speedy decisions in the next few weeks about reopening of the trans-Tasma travel bubble, I think."

He says that Kiwis looking to return to New Zealand from Australia "should be making preparations to secure bookings ... to come back through MIQ when space is available" and "keeping in touch with the consular officials so that if they have an emergency need to travel back, they can access that pathway".

"I think discussions around reopening the trans-Tasman bubble are a fair way away."

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Hipkins added that he believes the Government has acknowledged that "we do want us to be able to reconnect and we do want to provide for a greater amount of movement at the border than we are currently able to provide for through MIQ".

He said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has "set out a pilot" for returnees to isolate at home, which officials will be "endeavouring to proceed" with between "now and the end of the year".

"We do acknowledge that the current model that we are working to - whilst it may still have an ongoing role - is unlikely to be the only route in and out of the country in the medium to longer term."