The Australian Government is considering opening its borders to New Zealand to effectively create a trans-Tasman bubble if the COVID-19 curve continues to flatten.
Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton says his department is looking at what Australia’s border system would look like in six to 12 months time as a result of the pandemic.
‘You could look at an arrangement with New Zealand given they are at a comparable stage as we are in this fight against this virus,’ Mr Dutton said.
‘We don’t know what will happen next flu season, we don’t know whether there will be another pandemic in 12 months or 12 years time.
Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison have discussed to possibility of easing border restrictions
‘We need to make sure we use the technology we have got available and look at assessing that threat.’
Mr Dutton believes Australia’s success in containing the coronavirus is due to the swift action it took in closing its borders.
But he said an arrangement with New Zealand is a logical first step in lifting restrictions, and then Australia could look at other nations within the region that are enjoying the same success.
But he said it was very hard to see how Australia could open up its borders with other countries like the United States and United Kingdom at this point in time.
‘That will be sometime off,’ he said.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern discussed the issue last week, but Ms Ardern played down the idea.
‘Our current border restrictions and quarantine arrangements are the most important protections we have to stop the virus re-entering New Zealand and taking off again, so they will only be lifted when we are confident it is safe to do so,’ a spokesperson for Ms Ardern said.
‘So while nothing is going to happen immediately, the idea has merit as something that might be possible down the track.’
Courtesy DAILY MAIL