Coronavirus: Australia-New Zealand border may reopen by September

The agreement of New Zealand's government would be required and is subject to uncertainties such as renewed outbreaks. PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SYDNEY (BLOOMBERG) - Australia and New Zealand may reopen their border to travellers from the two countries as soon as September, Mr Simon Birmingham, Australia's tourism and trade minister, said in a Friday (July 3) interview with the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper.

The minister said such a time frame was realistic, though it would require the agreement of New Zealand's government and is subject to uncertainties such as renewed outbreaks of the coronavirus.

A Bloomberg News inquiry to the minister's office on Saturday did not receive an immediate response.

Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's public notification service Smart Traveller on Friday said a passenger limit would be applied to incoming flights because of pressure on Sydney's quarantine facilities.

A limit of 450 passengers a day will be applied to international flights arriving in Sydney from Saturday to July 17, the department said on its website, adding the timetable for the restriction could be extended.

On Saturday, Sydney's New South Wales state government reported five more cases of the coronavirus, bringing the total to 3,216.

All the infections involved returned travellers now in hotel quarantine, the state's health department said.

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