New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will join Australia’s National Cabinet tomorrow, Scott Morrison has announced.
The New Zealand leader will join Morrison and all state premiers, including Gladys Berejiklian and Daniel Andrews, to discuss the possibility of a “Trans-Tasman Bubble” that would allow Aussies and Kiwis to travel between the two countries while maintaining border closures for the rest of the world.
Both Australia and New Zealand have managed to keep the coronavirus pandemic relatively under control after enforcing strict lockdowns.
“If there’s any country in the world with whom we can reconnect with first, undoubtedly that’s New Zealand,” Morrison told reporters last Thursday.
“We have similar trajectories. Their restrictions have been far greater. Our case response has been the same, if not better, than New Zealand.”
New Zealand’s Health Director General Ashley Bloomfield said his government tentatively backed the idea.
“One of the things that will be very important, if there is an agreement at the highest-level to have a trans-Tasman bubble, that we are working very closely with our Australian counterparts on what those key public health pillars would need to be – around how we are testing for, identifying, and isolating cases and contacts, also our position around contact tracing and our ability to exchange information smoothly,” he told reporters.
One example of these information exchanges may come from the COVIDSafe app, which is also set to be discussed at the meeting.
New Zealand is currently working on an app based off the Australian one, according to reports, so some kind of compatibility may also be on the cards.