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The wait for a trans-Tasman bubble continues, as the PM announces a commencement date will be unveiled on April 6

The wait for a trans-Tasman bubble continues, as the PM announces a commencement date will be unveiled on April 6
Image sourced from Flickr

The Government will on April 6 announce when a trans-Tasman bubble will be formed.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said issues around contact tracing Australian visitors to New Zealand, and sorting out a framework for the circumstances under which New Zealand might have to close its border, were still being ironed out.

She said work was also underway to determine the impact a trans-Tasman bubble would have on managed isolation and quarantine capacity - IE how much room it might free up.

Ardern said airlines and airports had done a lot of work to ensure airline crew and passengers working and travelling within the bubble would be separated from other crew and passengers.

She said creating a bubble was a “priority” but recognised many New Zealanders were “nervous” about this.

Ardern said that should New Zealand or Australia wish to form a bubble with a third country, New Zealand would have to review its bubble settings.

She couldn’t comment on the details of how an arrangement would work and what would happen if a COVID-19 outbreak caused a temporary border closure and travellers got stuck away from home. However, she said there would be an element of “flyer beware”.

Tourism operators in limbo

Tourism Industry Aotearoa chief executive Chris Roberts expressed his disappointment over the Government not announcing a bubble commencement date on Monday.

“Until they have a firm date, tourism operators cannot take bookings with confidence or scale up in terms of staff and services. It also delays marketing campaigns to the Aussies,” Roberts said.

He accepted the borders must be opened safely, but noted discussions on what would need to be in place to allow the Tasman to re-open started almost immediately after the borders were closed a year ago.

“The intention was to get everything ready to go when the time was right. The health experts say trans-Tasman travel can now be done safely, so any delay is frustrating,” he said.

National Party leader Judith Collins said: “The last thing our struggling economy needs now is more announcements about future announcements. The Prime Minister should have given us the certainty of a start-date today.

“Australia has already turned its attention to forming a travel bubble with Singapore. If New Zealand doesn’t move faster on this, we will be left behind…

“New Zealand should already be well advanced towards a trans-Tasman travel and turning its attention to allowing quarantine-free travel into New Zealand from more Pacific Islands.”

Travel insurance tips

Insurance Council of New Zealand chief executive Tim Grafton reminded those considering a trip, travel insurance policies differ. 

"ICNZ strongly advises anyone purchasing travel insurance to read the policies thoroughly and to ask the insurer any questions they may have about what is and isn’t included," he said, explaining: 

At present policies won’t cover:

- Cancellations to travel caused by government-imposed lockdowns

- Costs if the government imposes a blanket quarantine

- Travel delay caused by COVID-19

- Border closures due to COVID-19

- Travel to any other countries where there is still a ‘do not travel’ alert in place.

Cover that might be offered by some insurers with specific COVID-19 extensions include:

- Cancellation costs if you get sick with COVID-19 before you go away

- Costs to return home if a relative gets sick with COVID-19

- Costs if you get sick with COVID-19 and must quarantine

- Reasonable accommodation costs if the person you were supposed to stay with gets COVID-19

- Cancellation costs if leave is revoked - if you are an essential health worker and your leave is revoked due to COVID-19 you can claim the non-refundable costs

- Cancellation costs for denied boarding due to a positive COVID-19 test at the airport - you and your travelling companion can claim the non-refundable, prepaid cancellation costs provided that a public health authority directed you and you did not have knowledge or awareness of your positive test result at the time of your policy purchase

- Cancellation due to being a close contact with someone with COVID-19 - Cancellation or amendment costs for a prepaid trip subject to the cancellation benefit limit on the policy if they have been directed to quarantine by a public health authority because they deemed to have had close contact with someone diagnosed with COVID-19 and can’t go on their trip.

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31 Comments

20
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Wow they are dragging this out as much as they can... possibly hoping for another lockdown somewhere to let them delay further? Does anybody believe this bunch are capable of organizing anything anymore?

My latest theory is they are reluctant to let tourists in because the motels that aren't used for MIQ are now used for emergency housing.

If you were a tourist, would you want to fly to NZ and pay $441 a night for one of those boxes of misery and depression?

No. But surely you could get a decent motel room for $441 per night? You can get a SUITE in a 5 STAR HOTEL for that price. Obviously you wouldn't want social-motel-housing-tenants as neighbors while vacationing.

Maybe the government are scared everybody will mission off to Australia?

12
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I was being facetious. If you're not aware, $441 per night is what some of those 'Bates Motels' have been charging for people with nowhere to go.

What? A Kiwifail apartment for $441 / night?

There's probably a lot more to it than just saying "okay guys, you're allowed to travel".

Sky News Political Editor Andrew Clennell says Australia has quietly amended regulations under its Biosecurity Overseas Travel Ban Amendment Act to allow Australians to travel freely in and out of New Zealand.

“We know there are restrictions on travel overseas and you need to gain an exemption to do it,” Mr Clennell said.

“In anticipation the New Zealand government will agree to a two-way travel bubble, the ban and need for exemption has been lifted.

“Australians will still need to quarantine on way into New Zealand however, until New Zealand agrees to the two-way bubble.”

https://www.skynews.com.au/details/_6242533538001

19
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Cult of personality. It's all about 'the announcement' given by and gifted by guess who. So much propaganda overkill.

Yes we must all wait with baited breath for She.

17
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Huh?!? So they announced at today’s announcement that today they would signal an announcement about an upcoming announcement during a future announcement ...

Trans-Tasman bubble is officially the new SkyPath

I didn’t like my grandfather that much and undoubtedly he reciprocated. One of his favourite “games” was to promise something tomorrow, and the next day say, yes tomorrow. Hard to work that out as a five year old, so guess we should all be grateful that the PM condescends to treat us all as ten year olds.

It was the post-cabinet press conference, they do one every Monday afternoon. People are being unfairly cynical in this instance, but partially as a result of them having form for this kind of thing. But in this particular instance, non.

13
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She really tries my patience

... you are not alone ... very far from it .... an announcement as a prequel to the actual announcement ...

She waffles & flaps , whilst our economy stalls ... waffles & flaps as businesse fail .... waffle waffle , flap flap ... look at me , I'm the Queen ... waffle , flap ...

Announcement after announcement ....really have one announcement to to announce the date of next announcement just like they did with announcement to control speculation demand and finally it seems that day has come and will e tomorrow but will they just extend BLT and not touch Interest Only Loan and DTI being fully aware that it is this two action that may really help to curb speculation. Will know tomorrow morning.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/prime-minister-jacinda-arderns-housing-pac... /

If they increase first home buyer grant thinking that it will help buyers are mistaken as it will help sellers as house prices goes up by much more than the additional grant.

Important is complete ban on interest only loan specially for investment house (speculators) combined with DTI and to impliment it on immediate basis as just passing tbd buck to RBNZ will not help as they will take another few months to decide thereby giving opportunity to speculators to create havoc.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/covid-19-coronavirus-auckland-miq-worker-t...

Hang on – Jacinda’s possibly saved from a decision – the Gods may have smiled on her at the final hurdle..

Her happy place is back – mercifully a Covid outbreak – phew.

Thank God she thinks, thank goodness – now I can get back to talking about a tricky virus and how good we are at the border – and deflect the fact we are bringing it in daily in droves.

It's the Timbuktu strain this time too, real tricky...lockdown ASAP.

Haha classic, another covid case in the community announced just after the Trans tasman announcement and just before the housing announcement. Did I miss an announcement...?

Agreed - we need a definitive announcement regarding the status of all prior announcements - pending any further announcements.

Don't worry, announcements are just like buses.. If you miss one there'll be another one coming along in 5 minutes

The Covid game ain’t over, play along and do not resist you will be fine.

... wash your hands ! ... be kind ... team of 5 million ... remember to scan the QR codes .... if you have a sniffle , stay home ....

SNIFFFF ! ... oooh , better call the boss .... 2 weeks off work , yay ....

Who the hell wants a travel bubble with Australians?

Distraught mother hasn't seen son who has been in Australia for two years? Sob, sob.
70 year old grandmother hasn't seen new 6-week old grandson in Australia. Sob, sob.
Brother desperately needs to attend his brother's 21st birthday party in Melbourne. Sob, sob.
So please, please have a bubble with Australia, wail radio talk-back callers, our plight and suffering is unbearable, and its all JA's fault. Sob, sob.
Well, what a bunch of bleeding-heart snivellers. I wonder what grief and suffering their fathers and grandfathers induced in the wives and mothers when they were shipped overseas for years to fight in two world wars
Watch Westpac's last Friday's economics video on-line where they say the evidence is now in that the countries that went for elimination of the virus are the one's who have recovered best economically.
Get real all you limp-wristed key-board warriors.

Wow. Did you miss the kindness message? And what is the reference to limp wristed for? There’s no room for contemptuous terms for gay men in modern NZ. Back to the cave.

That's the kind of kindness Cindy likes.

... and ... a large chunk of our tourism industry was due to Aussies coming here ... it would be a massive lifeline for Queenstown & the West Coast ... ski season is approaching , oi Aussies , where the bloody hell are ya !

DP.

You may be right “streetwise”, most people probably don’t want or need a bubble with Oz.

I think what most people who write these comments would like though is a govt (either left or right) that delivers on promises and the Trans-Tasman bubble is symptomatic of the repeated failures of this govt in that regard.

Remember 2017 and the election promises of affordable housing for all, clean water, skypath, elimination of child poverty, a fairer tax system, education reform, investment in light rail and infrastructure in our major centres?

The list goes on and progress is non-existent. Fast forward to May 2020 and we were promised travel bubbles and enhanced contract tracing to prevent another lockdown. 2021 arrives and we have neither ... these “limp wristed keyboard warriors” you feel so strongly about perhaps just feel a little frustrated and let down. Justifiably so in my view.

Yes it is grating. For instance the high profile of one Twyford in opposition, posturing and spouting he was the man, the panacea for the housing crisis. Where is he now? Guess suddenly discovered the difference between having an opinion versus having the actual responsibility. Some have referred to this government as a bunch of muppets, well then certainly look no further for Fozzie.

Westpac and economics LOL

Virtue Signaller in Chief is afraid that many of us will pi$$ off to Oz and never come back. And she should be.

Before April 6th Australia will have an outbreak of Brazilian virus and no bubble will happen