New Zealand suspends quarantine-free travel with Australia
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced Friday that quarantine-free travel from Australia to New Zealand will be suspended as COVID-19 cases rise in Australia.
Why it matters: The travel bubble, which opened in April, was supposed to boost the economy and serve as a model to safely allow international travel. More than 200,000 people have utilized the quarantine-free travel bubble since April, the Washington Post reports.
- The suspension begins Friday and will last for at least eight weeks. The prime minister said that any New Zealanders visiting Australia should return within the next seven days.
- Only about 12% of Australia’s population is fully vaccinated, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
What they're saying: “Now is the time for a suspension to ensure New Zealanders aren’t put at undue risk from COVID-19 and to ensure we retain our hard won gains," Ardern said in a statement.
- "Our team of five million has worked hard to put us in a strong position both health-wise and economically. We will not risk that,” Ardern added.