Attorney General and Minister for Economy, Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says he had a discussion with New Zealand’s Trade Minister where they talked about the travel bubble with New Zealand and the requirements.
Sayed-Khaiyum says they also had discussions on the time period within which New Zealand is looking at opening up the borders.
He says New Zealand’s first priority is obviously Australia.
The Attorney General says they also said that they need to assess each country individually because in Fiji’s case, we have been fairly good in dealing with the way we have handled COVID-19 cases.
Sayed-Khaiyum says the fact that Fiji was one of the first countries in the Pacific to close its borders and the successful fever clinics also needs to be considered.
The Attorney General says they also had discussions with the Australian Foreign Minister last week.
Meanwhile, the leaders of New Zealand and Australia have agreed that once effective travel arrangements between the two countries are established they would look at opportunities to broaden that travel bubble to the Pacific.
Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern have announced that they will ease travel restrictions between the two countries as soon as it is safe to do so.
Ardern had accepted Morrison's invitation to video call into his ministerial Cabinet meeting.
It was the first time a New Zealand leader had attended a meeting of Australia's cabinet since World War 2.
Morrison and Ardern have agreed to commence work on the trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone - easing travel restrictions between Australia and New Zealand as soon as it is safe to do so.
There is no time frame.
The two leaders have stated that necessary health, transport and other protocols would have to be developed and met to ensure the protection of public health.
Once effective travel arrangements across the Tasman are established they would look at opportunities to broaden that to the Pacific.
The statement says a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone would be mutually beneficial, assisting trade and economic recovery, helping kick-start the tourism and transport sectors, enhancing sporting contacts, and reuniting families and friends.
They say neither country wants to see the virus rebound so it's essential any such travel zone is safe.
Ardern says Australians and New Zealanders travel across the ditch more than they do anywhere else.
She pointed out that New Zealand is Australia's second-largest source of tourists after China, with 1.2 million visitors last year and 1.6 million Aussies visited New Zealand.
Ardern says there are around 75,000 Australians in NZ and more than half a million Kiwis in Australia. New Zealand has been urged to include the Pacific Islands in any proposed trans-Tasman bubble.
Ardern has said the government is focused on travel between New Zealand and Australia rather than with other Pacific nations for now, because of the "huge risk" if the coronavirus found its way into Pacific Island nations that are yet untouched by the virus.
Qantas Airways Ltd chief executive Alan Joyce said regular flights between Australia and New Zealand could begin soon after domestic routes were reopened.
Qantas is currently operating only 5% of its pre-crisis domestic passenger network and 1% of its international network.
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