No guarantee on quarantine free travel between Australia-New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern | Alds

No guarantee on quarantine free travel between Australia-New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern

The two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand has been heralded as a new chapter in the recovery from COVID-19.

But Jacinda Ardern is warning prospective travellers to prepare for disruptions when the long-awaited trans-Tasman arrangement begins on April 19.

Speaking on Sunrise, the New Zealand Prime Minister said there was a chance Australians travelling across the ditch could be placed in quarantine.

“We will always make the effort for people to be able to return home, but there may be a small set of circumstances where we might have to use quarantine,” Ms Ardern said on Wednesday.

“We do not anticipate that being a common response.”

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Ms Ardern said the trigger for quarantine under the new arrangements included a state being declared a hot spot or going into a short lockdown.

“I know that the same thing has happened in Australia,” she said.

“Planes that have just landed and suddenly people find themselves either having to turn around and go home, going into a 14-day lockdown.”

Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said Australia would work closely with medical experts to determine its response if its Kiwi neighbours had an outbreak.

“We’re also asking states and territories to use border closures as a last resort and to use that contact tracing and that testing as the first response,” Mr Tehan told ABC Breakfast.

“If we can continue to do that, we’re going to continue to see confidence return to our tourism industry, confidence in people’s willingness and want to travel.”

Mr Tehan said establishing a travel bubble with Singapore would be a “good next step” to build on the achievement with New Zealand.

“But we’ll take our time,” he said, adding medical advice would determine the decision.

“Then we could look at other countries such as Japan, such as Vietnam – which has also done a very good job at dealing with COVID-19 – and South Korea.”

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