The Trans Tasman bubble has taken on a mythical status of late. First there was talk of it opening in July. Then it became September, then talk disappeared altogether with many giving up hope when the Tourism Minister for Australia said no international travel until 2021.
But then on the weekend that same Australian Tourism Minister, Simon Birmingham, put September back on the table despite Victoria’s Covid-19 wave.
“That’s a realistic time frame, however, it clearly is subject to uncertainties like the situation in Victoria and ultimately it requires the agreement of the New Zealand government as well.”
Today, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said she is considering bubbles with individual states rather than just national. Prime Minister Ardern revealed the ball was in Australia’s court on whether they want to open it as a national bubble (which would require Victoria to be under control) or state by state bubbles.
Border controls, such as the New South Wales and Victoria closed borders announced today, would need to remain in place should the Trans Tasman bubble be state controlled.
“It comes down to decision-making by Australia itself. We’ve got our criteria for what we need to see – either as the country as a whole or state by state – in order to open up. Whether they choose to go state by state is a matter for them” Ardern told The AM Show in New Zealand today. “That’s actually Australia’s call, not ours.”
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