New Zealand mulls more quarantine-free bubbles for vaccinated visitors: PM

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WELLINGTON, May 13 (Xinhua) — New Zealand was considering more quarantine-free travel opportunities for visitors already vaccinated against COVID-19 after it reopened borders to Australia and soon the Cook Islands, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday.

“Our goal now is to move towards reconnecting our people to the world,” she hinted in her pre-Budget speech.

Since the trans-Tasman quarantine-free travel started April 19, more than 70,000 people have flied to New Zealand from Australia, and over 57,000 have travelled the other way, local media reported.

Quarantine-free travel will start between the Cook Islands and New Zealand from next Monday.

Ardern said Niue is the next addition to the list, stressing that opportunities will be explored on quarantine-free travel with other countries although the task is “not without risk and complication.”

The prime minister did not give any specific plans but promised that New Zealand will “keep an open mind.”

Ardern will lead a trade delegation to Australia in July, which will be her first overseas travel since the COVID-19 pandemic started last year. In June Trade Minister Damien O’Connor will travel to London and Brussels to discuss free trade agreements with Britain and the European Union. Enditem

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