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What do Victoria’s border closures mean for the trans tasman bubble?

What do Victoria’s border closures mean for the trans tasman bubble?

An increase in COVID-19 cases in the state of Victoria has cast doubt on the possibility of a trans tasman travel bubble.

What do Victoria’s border closures mean for the trans tasman bubble?

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has spoken about the latest trans tasman bubble news, in light of the recent spike in COVID-19 cases in Australia.

Today, it was announced the state of New South Wales will be closing its border with Victoria, following an outbreak of COVID-19 cases in Melbourne over the weekend.

What do the increased cases and border closures mean for the trans tasman travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia?

Speaking to Newstalk ZB today, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shared an update on the trans tasman bubble news. Ardern said the decision as to whether the travel bubble is rolled out state by state or federally is up to the Australian government.

“The test for us remains the same. And our test could apply state by state or at a federal,” said Ardern.

“We are in a good place at the moment. Australia is really the one who has to make some calls about when they’ll be ready.”

Last week, Australia’s Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham suggested that quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia could happen as early as September.

But now with the recent spike in cases in Victoria, the possibility of free travel between the two countries by September is looking less likely.

While Ardern is open to the idea of state-by-state travel bubbles, she says Victoria won’t be on the list anytime soon.

“Obviously, we won’t be doing that with Victoria while they are where they are,” she said.

Trans tasman bubble news: Jacinda Ardern speaks with Scott Morrison

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

One key criterion for Ardern that the Australian states would need to have no community transmission.

If New Zealand were to open its borders for specific Australian states, visitors would need to ensure that the travel routes were confined to a single state with no border crossings.

What does this trans tasman bubble news mean for the Pacific?

As to the possibility of a Pacific travel bubble, Ardern says this is currently being worked on.

“The work we’re doing on transtasman 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,” Ardern said.

“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.”

READ MORE: New South Wales to close border with Victoria.

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