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Pacific bubble risks could be managed: New Zealand health chief

Muri Lagoon in the Cook Islands Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/ 123RF. Sketched by the Pan Pacific Agency.

WELLINGTON, May 28, 2020, RNZ. New Zealand’s Director General of Health says the risks of a ‘bubble’ with Pacific countries can be well managed, Radio New Zealand reported.

There are calls across the region for travel to be reinstated, possibly before a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia.

Ashley Bloomfield said the Ministry of Health hadn’t yet been asked for advice about an arrangement.

“My own view is that the risks can be managed well, especially if we’ve got countries that have got good testing in place and we know that they haven’t got any cases and the arrangements can be put in place for travel to and fro,” Dr Bloomfield said.

“I think that many Pacific countries will be interested in seeing if an arrangement can be put in place because their economies are so reliant on tourism.”

He said the Pacific had always been a focus of New Zealand’s efforts in response to Covid-19 and it would remain in mind when opening up travel.

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