Calls for NZ to open up to SA

Just one day after South Australia announced it has opened its borders to New Zealanders and become part of the trans-Tasman bubble, it is now calling for the move to be reciprocated.

Premier Steven Marshall will write to NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern to seek approval for South Australians to travel into the country.

If successful, it will be the state’s first overseas travel destination since the COVID-19 pandemic started.

Mr Marshall said the move would mean South Australians or returning Kiwis would not need to quarantine upon arrival.

“South Australia is the safest state in the safest nation, which is why I will be sending a letter to (Ms) Ardern seeking reciprocal travel rights for South Australians heading to New Zealand,” he told The Advertiser.

“We really want to normalise travel between Australia and New Zealand … We don’t serve any threat to New Zealand whatsoever.

“As a state we’ve done really well so I’ve laid out the case for SA having a different arrangement from other parts of the country. We hope she looks at that letter, considers the evidence and moves to an arrangement where people can go back without having to quarantine.”

It comes after 12 Kiwis were freed from hotel quarantine on Tuesday.

At the time of their arrival, the New Zealanders were treated like any other international travellers and were placed into medi-hotels.

However, Police Commissioner Grant Stevens announced they no longer needed to isolate as the state’s Transition Committee decided to open up to Kiwis and avoid further confusion over the bubble rules.

He said local authorities had a “level of comfort” surrounding the risk associated with Kiwis coming to the state after speaking to NZ authorities.

“We made a decision based on information and proper evidence, and that decision has enabled us to relax this current requirement,” Mr Stevens said.

“We’re also happy to receive direct flights from New Zealand.”

Mr Marshall also reiterated the decision was made based on expert health advice, when he fronted reporters on Wednesday.

“As soon as we had advice from SA Health at that Transition Committee meeting, we were able to lift that restriction and I think it’s great for increased travel between New Zealand and Australia and it consequently will be great for jobs in our state.”

The NZ travel bubble allows for Kiwis to fly into NSW, the Northern Territory and now South Australia.

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