Australia, New Zealand leaders to discuss international travel ‘bubble’

Canberra: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been invited to attend Australia’s National Cabinet meeting to ramp-up negotiations on a “travel bubble” between the two countries, the media reported.

Australia’s National Cabinet, which comprises Prime Minister Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders, is set to meet on Tuesday and again on Friday to discuss easing coronavirus restrictions.

The bubble would enable international travel between Australia and New Zealand possibly later this year, providing a boost for the tourism industry.

A total of 6,801 cases of COVID-19 have been reported in Australia, with 95 deaths.

New Zealand reported 1,487 cases, with 20 deaths.

Over the past week, there has been an average of 13 new cases reported each day, according to the Department of Health.

The Australian Capital Territory (ACT) has recorded one new case on Monday, its first in recent days.

According to data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) on Monday 72 per cent of businesses reported that reduced cash flow as a result of the pandemic would impact their operations over the next two months.

More than 40 per cent expect a reduced ability to pay operating expenses and 69 per cent will be affected by reduced demand for goods and services.