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By Nacanieli Tuilevuka
Australia has poured cold water on the idea of a travel bubble soon with Fiji as it is unlikely to allow citizens to visit until Fiji before the end of the year.
Australia’s Assistant Treasurer Michael Sukkar said; "I think that going down the Bubble path is ‘certainly something that we have embraced’ but he warned that no nation has yet perfected the art of contact tracing and ring-fencing the coronavirus.”
Sukkar told reporters that there won’t be any quick answers to travel bubbles, highlighting the outbreak of coronavirus in the Australian state of Victoria.
Sukkar said while many Pacific Island countries rely on the tourism sector, it was unsafe for people to travel as there was no vaccine yet.
“I can tell you there's a large number here in Australia with 25 million people, many of whom have not been on a holiday this year, who would relish the opportunity.”
“I don’t think that we can, and I don’t want to sound pessimistic, and this is my own view, I don’t think we can take to the bank the idea that necessarily the vaccine is around the corner.”
“Now I hope I'm proven wrong and that one is discovered imminently and all the clinical trials are undertaken.”
Sukkar said that they also did not want to export the pandemic into fragile Pacific Island countries.
He said in the longer term, regional leaders need to think about how they can operate in a coronavirus safe way.
“The only way to absolutely guarantee yourself of no infection is just stopping the flow of people but obviously the economic consequences of that are just devastating.”
He said countries have to manage the influx of people in a coronavirus safe way by screening and quarantining people coming in.
SOURCE: FIJI LIVE/PACNEWS
Pacific Islands News Association
Who & What is PINA?
International News Safety Institute (INSI)
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