Asia Today: Australia, New Zealand to partially open borders

Asia Today: Australia, New Zealand to partially open borders

New Zealand will not accept Australian travellers without quarantine until there is no community transmission for a month.

The Prime Minister has negotiated the first stage of an Australia-New Zealand travel bubble with his counterpart across the ditch, with flights to take off within two weeks.

That is, a Trans-Tasman travel bubble will deliver more Australians to NZ than it will Kiwis to our shores, delivering a net negative to local tourism.

The New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her borders would remain closed for the time being.

New Zealand Aviation Coalition (NZAC) co-chair Justin Tighe-Umbers says a "hotspot" is an area with fewer than three cases of Covid-19 over three days.

The party wants travel bubbles opened with Pacific neighbours, including Australia, as soon as it's safe.

If the state continues to have no locally acquired infections, October 23 would be the first possible day it could comply with New Zealand's rule.

Initially the quarantine-free travel will only be one-way, from New Zealand to Australia, and a limited number of destinations will be included in the deal, according to Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

- India's COVID-19 fatalities are closing on 100,000 with another 1,095 deaths reported in the past 24 hours.

In the first stage of resumed travel from October 16, New Zealand residents who have not been in a designated COVID-19 hotspot for the previous 14 days will be allowed to fly into parts of Australia without undergoing self-isolation.

Right now, New Zealand's borders are closed to worldwide travelers under restrictions put in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus. Its reported deaths are low for a country with almost 1.4 billion people and more than 6.3 million cases of coronavirus infection, but experts say it may not be counting many deaths.

The bulk of restrictions will only be eased when the average for new daily cases over a two-week window falls below five.

Arrivals have been required to isolate for two weeks in designated hotels and be tested for the coronavirus. The mountain city of Baguio, regarded as a summer hideaway for its pine trees, cool breeze and picturesque upland views, has been reopened to tourists only from its northern region, she told ABS-CBN News.

"We're not ready", Ms Ardern said, pointing to Queensland's border arrangements and suggesting a go-slow was more in line with her thinking.

Victoria accounts for 90 per cent of national Covid-19 deaths.

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