The Australian government is reportedly hoping to reach an agreement with New Zealand to reduce travel restrictions in the second half of this year.
But our Government will not confirm the schedule, insisting nothing has changed and discussions are ongoing.
Australian Interior Minister Peter Dutton said on Sunday that his government hoped to ease travel conditions between Australia and New Zealand in the “short to medium term” to revive the flow of tourists and business travelers, Financial Review of Australia report.
But Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s spokesman said Goods Current New Zealand border restrictions and quarantine arrangements are the most important safeguards to stop the virus from re-entering the country and taking off again.
“They will only be revoked when it is safe to do so. Discussions between New Zealand and Australia about restrictions on cross-Tasman travel continue,” he said.
Dutton also told me Sky News on Sunday that New Zealand “will be a natural partner where you might start to see steps to ensure people can travel safely”.
“You can see arrangements with New Zealand considering they are at a comparable stage because we are fighting against this virus,” Dutton said.
That echo the comment made Thursday by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who said he was discussing the opening trans-Tasman border with Ardern.
Morrison said he had discussed the possibility of easing strict travel restrictions on Tasman, because both countries were on the “same track” in their response to Covid-19.
He said New Zealand had imposed far greater restrictions on fighting the virus, a reference to four weeks of locking, and Australia’s response was “the same, if not better”.
“Now if there is a country in the world with whom we can reconnect with the first, there is no doubt that it is New Zealand,” he said.
The Australian Government is exploring what medical technologies and strategies can help the resumption of trans-Tasman journeys, such as temperature tests and application tracking.
Australia and New Zealand have become one of the most successful countries in the world to suppress the Covid-19 virus.
A spokesman for Ardern previously confirmed that conversation had taken place, with the pair discussing the future of the trans-Tasman border, “but no plans have been confirmed”.
Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Winston Peters said this week several businesses could be saved if the country created trans-Tasman bubble – and he’s open to starting on a state-by-country basis.
New Zealand is Australia’s second largest entry market for visitor arrivals in 2018-19 and the fourth largest market for total visitor spending and visitor nights.
Kiwi accounts for 1.41 million short-term visitor arrivals in Australia, behind only short-term visitors from China.
Australia is New Zealand’s largest international visitor market, accounting for almost half of all international visitors, according to Tourism New Zealand. Before the virus killed off air travel, Air New Zealand had more than 40 daily trans-Tasman flights.
Meanwhile, New Zealand is Australia’s second largest entry market for visitors in 2018-19. Kiwi accounts for 1.41 million short-term visitor arrivals in Australia, behind only short-term visitors from China.
Around 233,000 New Zealand business arrivals contributed $ 500 million to the Australian economy, according to Tourism Australia.
New Zealand can disproportionately benefit economically from the reopening of borders because Australia’s population of 25 million is five times larger than our population, Australian financel Review reported.
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