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Ardern says Victoria outbreak is a ‘major step back’ for trans-Tasman bubble

Ardern says Victoria outbreak is a ‘major step back’ for trans-Tasman bubble

Jacinda Ardern says the trans-Tasman travel bubble has been pushed back due to the recent COVID-19 outbreaks in Victoria.

Ardern says Victoria outbreak is a ‘major step back’ for trans-Tasman bubble

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the likelihood of travel between New Zealand and Australia is “going to be some time away”, following rising coronavirus cases in the state of Victoria.

671 new COVID-19 cases were reported in Victoria on Sunday and a State of Disaster has been declared with metropolitan Melbourne moving to stage 4 lockdown restrictions.

Speaking to RNZ and The AM Show Monday morning, Ardern said the outbreak has caused a “major step back for trans-Tasman travel.”

“Obviously this is going to be some time away now,” said Ardern.

The Prime Minister said Australia would need to be free of community transmission for at least 28 days before opening up the borders for free travel.

“Anywhere where we have COVID-free travel they have to be free of community transmission for a period of time – that will be some time for Australia,” Ardern said.

“It will be on the backburner for several months.”

Based on her understanding, she believes it will be several months before Victoria can meet those requirements, however, the stricter restrictions may speed that up.

Speaking about the possibility of a travel bubble the Cook Islands, which is currently COVID-19-free, Ardern said there is no timeline and that setting up airport facilities so Cook Islands travellers would not interact with other travellers is the source of the delay.

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