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More from New Zealand with Charlotte Graham-McLay:
Jacinda Ardern, the prime minister, told an Australian breakfast television show that she hoped a trans-Tasman “bubble” between the two countries would be open by Christmas.The so-called bubble would allow passengers from Australia and New Zealand to travel between the nations without spending two weeks in quarantine at either end. Both countries have currently entry limits in place. Ardern has previously refused to be drawn on a date for the bubble, and Air New Zealand had speculated it would not be possible before March next year at the earliest.The prime minister told Sunrise interviewers on Wednesday that she was “working through” the details with Australian officials. “I think we’re all looking for that outcome,” she said, of the Christmas date.But she was seeking more detail about the expected travel rules for Australians based in coronavirus hotspots, suggesting that the bubble would only be allowed on a state-by-state basis. “We’ll be looking to what decision you make as to what qualifies as a hotspot but I do think this opens up some opportunities,” she said.Earlier plans for a bubble had been shelved after a major second wave of the virus in Melbourne, Australia, and a minor outbreak in Auckland, New Zealand.The virus is now largely contained in both countries.
Charlotte Graham-McLay reports for the Guardian:
New Zealand on Wednesday reported a fifth consecutive day of no new Covid-19 cases spread in the community. There was one new diagnosis of the virus in the government-run isolation facilities for travelers returning to New Zealand, health officials said. The passenger had arrived from France, via Singapore. Only New Zealanders and their families – as well as those with special exemptions – may enter the country, and all must spend two weeks in managed quarantine facilities where they are tested twice for Covid-19. There are 44 active cases in New Zealand, a drop of 11 from Tuesday as sufferers recover. 30 of the cases are in managed isolation and 14 in the community. A cluster of cases in the largest city, Auckland, is shrinking and restrictions on the city have begun to ease in recent weeks. There have been 1,480 known cases of the coronavirus in New Zealand, with 25 deaths. One person is in hospital.
Read more: theguardian.com