The NZ Herald is reporting that Sydney and New South Wales could soon enter into a travel hub agreement with New Zealand to allow travel across the Tasman Sea.
With Victoria now shut off from the rest of Australia, it’s possible that New Zealand will now work with the New South Wales and Queensland governments to secure a “Trans Tasman Travel Bubble.”
New South Wales has seen very few cases of Coronavirus in recent weeks, with only returning travellers in hotel quarantine registering cases.
With community spread in Victoria, and no clear evidence of community spread in other states, a travel bubble with New Zealand is now looking realistic.
In an interview with the New Zealand Prime Minister, the Herald reports the government there wants to negotiate with individual states with no local cases.
“The test for us remains the same – and our test could apply state by state or at a federal level,” Ms Ardern said.
“We are in a good place at the moment,” the PM said. “Australia is really the one who has to make some calls about when they’ll be ready.
“Obviously, we won’t be doing that with Victoria while they are where they are,” she said.
“One of the criteria for us is that they need to be where we are in terms of there being no community transmission.”
Ardern said that any plans for a trans-Tasman bubble would also include neighbouring islands that want to be part of the agreement.
“The work we’re doing on trans-Tasman will apply to the Pacific. I’ve never said which will come first. It’s all a matter of both sides being ready and having everything in order,” she said.
“Everything we expect of ourselves is what we’re asking anyone we’re doing quarantine travel with.
“The bottom line is that all that work is under way. We’re not rushing. I don’t think the Pacific should want to rush, and I take that very seriously. I could not live with myself if we were responsible for COVID in the Pacific.”
Earlier story: New Zealand wants Australia travel bubble.
Ryan is Contributing Editor