Australia recorded a fourth day of zero coronavirus cases on Thursday, prompting the chief of the country’s most populous state to call for a special travel “bubble” with Pacific island nations.
New South Wales has reined in an outbreak in mid-December that prompted a strict lockdown in Sydney’s Northern Beaches, while broader social distancing rules and mandatory mask wearing were imposed for the rest of the city.
Signalling those restrictions were set to be eased next week, Premier Gladys Berejiklien told the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper the federal government should consider establishing a travel arrangement with the Pacific.
“There is no reason why we shouldns’t aim to travel to New Zealand or some of the Pacific Islands well within the next 12 months,” Berejiklian said.
The comments come after Australia’s chief medical officer Paul Kelly cautioned about restarting international travel, given the country was in an “envious position” compared to most of the world.
Unlike other countries, Australia has closed its international borders, only allowing its stranded citizens back home.