News Coronavirus Peter Dutton mulls re-allowing travel to New Zealand as first post-COVID step
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Peter Dutton mulls re-allowing travel to New Zealand as first post-COVID step

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Flights from NZ begin today, after being cancelled throughout the coronavirus pandemic. Photo: AAP
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Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton believes Australia’s success in containing the coronavirus is due to the swift action it took in closing its borders.

But he says an arrangement with New Zealand is a logical first step in lifting restrictions, and then Australia could look at other nations within the region that are enjoying the same success.

“You could look at an arrangement with New Zealand, given they are at a comparable stage as we are in this fight against this virus,” he told Sky News on Sunday.

NZ PM Jacinda Ardern isn’t so keen on ending the Trans-Tasman travel ban. Photo: AAP

Prime Minister Scott Morrison and his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern discussed the issue last week, but Ms Ardern played down the idea.

“Our current border restrictions and quarantine arrangements are the most important protections we have to stop the virus re-entering New Zealand and taking off again, so they will only be lifted when we are confident it is safe to do so,” a spokesperson for Ms Ardern said.

“So while nothing is going to happen immediately, the idea has merit as something that might be possible down the track.”

-AAP