The Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group has submitted a blueprint for the resumption of 'safe' Trans-Tasman travel to both the New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers.
The proposal, developed by a group of 40 experts, government entities and industry bodies, recommends the establishment of a 'Safe Travel Zone' to be introduced in line with strong baseline health conditions in each country for the management of COVID-19.
The recommendations include several layers of protections across the traveller journey, allowing for the sustainable re-start of 'scheduled passenger services' without the need for a 14-day passenger quarantine.
Scott Tasker, co-chair of the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group and Auckland Airport's General Manager Aeronautical Commercial, says the proposal is aligned with official guidance released yesterday from the International Civil Aviation Organisation.
"This has been a significant piece of work involving experts from all parts of the system," says Tasker.
"We've worked solidly together over the past three weeks to develop a detailed and comprehensive framework to enable the safe and sustainable re-start of scheduled passenger services between Australia and New Zealand, and we're delighted to have submitted our proposal to government.
"We believe our recommendations will effectively manage the risks but importantly they will also provide confidence to Australian and New Zealand travellers to visit each other's countries to reconnect with family and friends, re-establish vital business links, and provide a lifeline of visitors to our respective tourism industries."
The Australian and New Zealand Governments will now review the proposal.
The Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group says re-establishing this travel link is vitally important considering the two countries are two of the most integrated economies in the world.
"Each country is vital to the success of each other's small and medium-sized businesses, and contributes strongly to each other's tourism sectors, with estimated $3 billion in international visitor spend each way every year," says the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group.
"Prior to the outbreak of COVID-19, New Zealand was the most popular outbound travel destination for Australians with 1.5 million visitors arriving from across the Tasman in 2019, accounting for 40 per cent of all foreign visitors to New Zealand.
"Likewise, Australia was the most popular outbound travel destination for Kiwis. New Zealand is Australia's second largest source market for visitors (behind China), with 1.4 million visitors in 2019, accounting for 15 per cent of total visitors to Australia."
Updated at 12:58pm AEST on 5 June 2020.
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