'You cannot unscramble the egg': PM 'cautious' on trans-Tasman bubble

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Feb 2021, 5:22PM
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remains cautious about a travel bubble with Australia. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern remains cautious about a travel bubble with Australia. Photo / Mark Mitchell

'You cannot unscramble the egg': PM 'cautious' on trans-Tasman bubble

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 9 Feb 2021, 5:22PM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is in no hurry to establish a travel bubble with Australia.

During her post-Cabinet press conference this afternoon, the Prime Minister said she remains cautious about opening up the borders for quarantine-free travel between the two countries.

She said there had been "significant changes in the environment" since the Government announced intentions of the trans-Tasman bubble, such as the Sydney outbreak.

The Government was going back through states' responses to outbreaks to ensure they fit with New Zealand's expectations - including that community cases here wouldn't cause Australia to close its borders and trapping Kiwis which is what happened with the latest cases.

"It's fair to say that things have changed a little bit since we made that goal and aspiration," the PM said.

Ardern said the believed the "weight of New Zealanders' preference" was to do it carefully.

The Government is continuing "in earnest" with its work on a travel bubble with the Cook Islands.

Ardern did not clarify whether it is still realistic to have a trans-Tasman bubble in place within the first quarter of the year, as previously planned.

"I do not apologise for a moment about being cautious about this. You cannot unscramble the egg," Ardern added.