Australia’s Queensland opens borders to New Zealand

Brisbane, Dec 11 : Queensland will reopen its borders to New Zealand from Saturday, helping to reunite families in time for Christmas, the Australian state’s Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said on Friday.

New Zealanders will not be required to undergo a two-week hotel quarantine when they arrive in Queensland as is the case for all other international arrivals, Xinhua news agency quoted the premier as saying.

Palaszczuk said the decision was made possible by New Zealand recording 28 days of zero community transmission.

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“Visitors coming in from New Zealand from 1 a.m. tomorrow are welcome into Queensland and we are hoping that eventually New Zealand will not have to do that hotel quarantine upon return, and then there would be free-flowing movement between the two.

“More New Zealand citizens call Queensland home than any other Australian state. With Kiwis able to travel to Queensland from tomorrow, families can finally be reunited in time for Christmas,” she added

Travellers from New Zealand were previously able to fly into other three Australian states including New South Wales, but they were still required to quarantine upon return to New Zealand.

Palaszczuk said she hopes to see restrictions eased even further to allow free travel between the two countries, which is expected to boost the economies of both New Zealand and Queensland which are heavily reliant on tourism.

Queensland only recently reopened to Australia’s two largest cities after more than eight months of restrictions and has been steadfast in putting the need to maintain virus suppression ahead of swift reopening.

Meanwhile, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that her government was working towards creating an Australia-wide travel bubble and Queensland’s decision wouldn’t change the process, 9 News reported.

“When we reopen, we will be looking to do that with Australia as a whole and we’ll need to have protocols in place for how that will work.

“Individual states reopening doesn’t change our approach for now,” she added.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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