trans tasman bubble trans tasman trouble

Sumary of Trans-Tasman bubble, trans-Tasman trouble:

  • Credit: AAPShare to FacebookShare to TwitterEmail UsCopy the LinkNew Zealand’s heightened sensitivity to COVID-19 is undoubtedly driving a tightening of the trans-Tasman bubble.Jacinda Ardern’s government is making no apologies for its safety-first mantra, as it prioritises keeping the virus and in particular the feared Delta variant out of the country.New Zealand is on a charmed 131-day streak without community transmission, showing the effectiveness of its border policies.With the least vaccinated population in the developed world, it cannot afford an outbreak.The “Team of Five Million”, that’s become a mantra used by government leaders through the pandemic, ranks 125th in the world for vaccinated people per capita.Committed to the two-dose Pfizer vaccine, just 15 per cent of Kiwis have received their first jab, placing it below Australia on 18 per cent and the global average.That’s a key reason why Chris Hipkins, the COVID-19 Minister, on Friday reversed a decision to allow Kiwis stranded in NSW by the latest outbreak to come home.”If the lockdown isn’t working and the people haven’t been following the rules …
  • then that does add additional risk for us here in New Zealand,” he said.Last month, the government acted outside its public plan and closed the entire bubble for a week, fearing widespread cases from the Northern Territory gold mine cluster.”The recent outbreaks and lockdowns across the Tasman, along with the recent scare in Wellington, have served to highlight the risks,” Ms Ardern said.”We need to stay vigilant.”That vigilance has seen the bubble partially shut for two of its first three months, including a month-long closure to Victoria and a week-long complete shutdown.The clunky responses are devoid of nuance, meaning residents of Tweed Heads aren’t able to travel when NSW is suspended due to cases in Sydney, despite their distance.Similarly, when cases in Brisbane close the Queensland bubble, New Zealand shows little interest in allowing flights from Townsville or Cairns.New Zealand has now tightened the screws further, mandating a costly pre-departure test (PDT) for all Australian visitors whether they’re leaving a place with cases or not.”Most people should be able to get a test for a couple of hundred dollars,” Mr Hipkins said.”It’s just one of the realities of the way the world is at the moment.”Even Tourism Minister Stuart Nash would not go in to bat for his hard-hit operators, while acknowledging the extra cost would defer visitors.”I make no apologies whatsoever.
  • it should be used when it is required but we hope it does not become a permanent feature,” he said.”Travel is increasingly complicated and expensive, and for many people who would like to come here, it may just be getting too hard.”The trans-Tasman bubble resumed in time for one week of Victorian school holidays, with planes bounding into Queenstown during ski season this week.Unfortunately for other tourism operators hoping for a trans-Tasman windfall, a further tax-grab is coming.Citing cabinet documents obtained under disclosure laws, the TIA claims the government is planning to raise border levies in December from $20 to $63 ($A59).”It is too soon, too impactful on the traveller and will slow down the recovery for thousands of tourism businesses,” Mr Roberts said.Mr Nash – who is hoping to use COVID-19 as a reset to New Zealand’s tourism industry, focussing on high-value visitors – did not deny the tax take was coming.The Napier MP said “a lot of consultation has still to occur” on the final amount, foreshadowing “reasonably substantial change”.BARELY A BUBBLE: TRANS-TASMAN TRAVEL WOEApril 19 – Six months after Australia began allowing quarantine-free travel from New Zealand, New Zealand reciprocates, creating the trans-Tasman bubble.April 23 – Bubble closes to WA, lasts five days.May 7 – Bubble closes to NSW, lasts three days.May 25 – Bubble closes to Victoria, lasts 28 days with stranded Kiwis allowed home after a fortnight.June 23 – Bubble closes to NSW.

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