Australia considers travel bubble arrangement with China 

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has revealed some Chinese provinces are among the areas being considered for future travel bubble arrangements with Australia.

Morrison told reporters on Tuesday that there had been ongoing discussions with countries including Japan, Korea and New Zealand, while other “low risk” areas, particularly in North Asia, were also being considered.

He added that Australia would “proceed cautiously” before lifting its international border ban, that was first introduced in March.

“There are countries that are doing obviously far better than what we are seeing in Europe and the United States,” he said.

“The situation in Europe and the United States is awful. And obviously, that presents great risks for people coming from those parts of the world to Australia.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media on November 10.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison speaks to the media on November 10. Credit: LUKAS COCH/AAPIMAGE

Morrison said Australia did, however, remain “open” to the idea of reopening to other “low risk” countries.

“We continue to hold these discussions with countries like Japan, we have had them before with Korea, Pacific nations, New Zealand has already been opened for travel into Australia without quarantine arrangements,” he said.

“Out of many parts of Asia, particularly in North Asia, places like Taiwan and I would also say provinces of China, Singapore, we are looking at what alternative arrangements could be had to channel visitors through appropriate quarantine arrangements for low-risk countries.”

“That is a process that other countries are doing as well. We are open to that but we have not come to a point of decision on that.”

On the agenda

Morrison said National Cabinet would discuss the international border on Friday.

“Not to the point of a decision on that, but I think a further assessment of where things are at,” he added.

The news comes after Australia recorded three consecutive days without any COVID-19 community transmission.

File image of a New Zealand traveller arriving at Sydney Airport.
File image of a New Zealand traveller arriving at Sydney Airport. Credit: Getty Images

In October, Australia welcomed back overseas travellers for the first time in months following the creation of a one-way quarantine free bubble with New Zealand.

While Kiwis are able to travel to Australia without the need for mandatory quarantine, arrivals to New Zealand are required to self isolate for 14 days.

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