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WA ‘shouldn’t be the last’ to join NZ travel bubble

Jane Marwick
Article image for WA ‘shouldn’t be the last’ to join NZ travel bubble

The State Government is seeking advice from the Chief Health Officer as to whether WA will join a travel bubble with New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today quarantine free travel between Australia and New Zealand will be allowed from April 19.

As it currently stands, West Aussies will be able to freely travel to New Zealand but they will have to spend 14-days in hotel quarantine when they return. If they return via another state less than 14-days before entering WA, then they will be required to self-quarantine for the fortnight.

However, Health Minister Roger Cook said they don’t want people using New Zealand to “bunny-hop” into Australia.

“The prospect of treating New Zealand as another state of Australia for the purposes of the travel arrangements is a very real one,” said Minister Cook.

Speaking with Jane Marwick, Tourism Council of WA Chief Executive Evan Hall said WA “shouldn’t be the last state” to join the bubble.

“This is clearly going to happen for the rest of Australia and we’re concerned about Perth constantly missing out as we open up travel with other states, which is effectively what New Zealand would be,” he said

Prior to the pandemic, about $100 million of WA’s tourism sector was thanks to New Zealand visitors. Mr Hall said, “they’re here for business, here to work, here to see family and of course have a holiday and we really want all those visitors back in.”

New Zealand outlined their requirements for the travel bubble including flight passengers having no contact with other travellers or crew who’ve been to high risk countries, masking wearing, use of New Zealand’s COVID app and they must not have any symptoms of cold and flu.

Once arriving at a New Zealand airport there’ll enter a ‘green zone’.

A traffic light system will be established to respond any positive case in either country, if there is a positive clearly linked to the hotel quarantine system travel can continue, but cases without a known source could result in the pause or suspension of travel.

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Jane Marwick