The leaders of Australia and New Zealand discussed on Tuesday the possibility of resuming travel between the two countries after progress in the fight against COVID-19, although they do not yet have a scheduled date in the short term.
“There is still some time. It is important to point this out because it is part of the way back. At some point both Australia and New Zealand will connect with the rest of the world again. The most obvious place for that to start is between the two countries,” he said. Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
“(Although) we see that this will happen (eventually), it will not happen next week,” Morrison told journalists in Canberra, after culminating a meeting of his Cabinet, in which the New Zealand Prime Minister participated momentarily and remotely, Jacinda Ardern.
Both countries closed their borders in late March to stem the spread of the pandemic.
The eventual reopening of the borders will not only boost tourism and business, but will also allow family reunion between the inhabitants of the two countries separated by the Tasman Sea without having to undergo 14-day quarantines due to the pandemic, he clarified. Ardern from Wellington.
“The objective of the discussions was the possibility of having a kind of bubble between us, a safe travel area that does not require quarantines,” said Ardern, whose country registers for the second consecutive day zero cases of COVID-19, which has 1,137 New Zealanders infected, including 20 deceased.
For its part, Australia, with 6,825 cases, including 95 deceased, has been registering less than 15 cases since last April 20 and is preparing to announce the relaxation of the restriction measures next Friday.
“Thousands of Australians lives have been saved if you look at the experience of how COVID-19 has affected many countries, but now we need a million Australians to return to their jobs,” Morrison stressed, insisting that the resumption of Activities must be done in “a safe economy”.
THE MILLION COST
According to government calculations, the restrictive measures cost the treasury some 4,000 million AUD (2,584 million USD or 2,368 million EUR) per week.
The Australian Reserve Bank estimates that Australia’s national output may drop by 10 percent in the first half following the crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, while the unemployment rate is likely to rise to 10 % in June, almost double that in March.
Australia, which had almost 30 years of sustained economic growth, has paralyzed non-essential activities to contain the pandemic, while implementing a stimulus package of A $ 320 billion ($ 202.077 million or € 186.429 million), which represents 16.4 percent of its annual GDP, to mitigate the coming recession.