Travel bubble: New Zealand minister says July is 'too early' to resume Australia flights

14 Jul 2020 2:10 PM
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New Zealand rejected calls by business leaders on Thursdayto restart flights to Australia within per month as too short a timeframe.

An Australian and New Zealand business lobby group said it designed to take a proposal to governments this week to kick off a travel bubble between the pair's capital cities with a test flight as soon as Wednesday, July 1.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said no plans had been agreed as both countries continue to work on a blueprint to resume travel, adding that date "was prematurily .."

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier this month that September was a far more realistic date for the resumption of flights.

"It will be over to the Australians a lot more than us because they have got the federal system and they are still not flying interstate," Peters told reporters. He added it had been unlikely the first flights will be the Wellington-Canberra route, given there have been more populated cities in each country.

"I've nothing against Canberra but I am for mass population movement by method of demand instead of capital cities," he said.

Falling amounts of active and new coronavirus cases in both countries have paved the way for the proposed easing of travel restrictions. New Zealand reported no new Covid-19 cases for a 13th consecutive day on Thursday and has just one single active case. Australia has reported daily single digit and low double digit amounts of new cases in recent weeks and has 490 active cases, with just 25 persons in hospital.