4 May 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to join Australia Cabinet meeting to discuss trans-Tasman bubble

4:36 pm on 4 May 2020

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will join Australia's Cabinet meeting tomorrow via video link to discuss the possibility of a trans-Tasman bubble.

Ardern briefed media at 4pm after her own government's Cabinet meeting.

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"The meeting will discuss a range of matters in relation to the covid response on both sides of the Tasman including the creation of a trans-Tasman travel bubble."

She said a trans-Tasman bubble - which would mean New Zealanders and Australians being confident of being able to travel between the countries without having to quarantine - was still some time off and had not been discussed in an official capacity yet.

She wouldn't rule out the trans-Tasman travel bubble in level 2.

She said the government was focused on travel between New Zealand and Australia rather than with other Pacific nations for now.

"There is huge risk if Covid finds its way into Pacific Island nations that are untouched by Covid. So I would want us to act cautiously and in unison with the leaders of those countries."

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She said despite today's news of no new cases or deaths from the virus, New Zealand needed to stick to the lockdown rules.

"My message remains the same ... stay the course. We cannot afford to squander the good work to date when our end goal is close and within reach," Ardern said.

"I'm a perfectionist. I want to see those numbers after we've been in alert level 3 long enough to be sure it's a reflection of alert level 3."

She said Cabinet had today discussed what the level 2 alert would look like, and those details would be made clear on Thursday.

"It will provide clarity and certainty and give people time to prepare," she said. "No decision has been made on moving out level 3 at this stage."

  • If you have symptoms of the coronavirus, call the NZ Covid-19 Healthline on 0800 358 5453 (+64 9 358 5453 for international SIMs) or call your GP

A week from today, on 11 May, Cabinet will decide whether the country will move down from level 3 or continue on.

Ardern said the country needed every day between now and then to be sure there was no widespread transmission of the virus under level 3.

The one scenario government has been clear about is to avoid yo-yoing between levels.

Ardern also gave an update on breaches of emergency alert level rules reported by police.

She said that as of 6pm yesterday, there were 593 breaches of Civil Defence Emergency Management Act in level 3, with 154 prosecutions, 400 warnings and 39 youth referrals.

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