No special treatment for All Blacks says NZ PM
NEWS: New Zealand’s quarantine rules will not be eased to allow the All Blacks to spend Christmas with their families after the Rugby Championship in Australia.
That was the message from NZ’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
New Zealand Rugby were left fuming after the Rugby Championship schedule, which was released last week, revealed that the tournament will be ending on December 12 with Australia taking on the All Blacks in Sydney.
The New Zealand government is enforcing a strict two-week coronavirus quarantine period for all international arrivals, meaning that even if the players flew home straight after their final match against the Wallabies in Sydney they would face being isolated from their families over Christmas.
What threw fuel to the fire was that NZ Rugby believed the All Blacks’ last match would be on December 6.
However, In an interview with Newstalk ZB, Ardern said the All Blacks would not want any special treatment when it comes to the quarantine rule.
“Ultimately, our view was the easiest way to avoid the situation that the All Blacks possibly face was to stick to the 6th December dates for games, which was agreed,” said Ardern.
“Moving beyond that does, of course, mean they will be in quarantine over that period.”
She added: “The All Blacks would expect us to treat them the same way that we treat others”.
“There are others who won’t want to be stuck in quarantine over Christmas, but that’s just the reality of our process.
“And, so, again, I don’t think [the All Blacks] would feel that comfortable with us creating a different regime for them, because it exists for the same reason.”
Ardern did offer some hope that a trans-Tasman travel bubble could open with a few Australian states.
“We would have to make sure we were excluding those states where there were still issues, obviously Victoria,” Ardern told Newstalk ZB. “Then you have to make sure they’ve got a firm border between Victoria and those states from which you are opening up travel.
“Then you’ve got to make sure you’ve got routes that do not have transit passengers on them. Currently, everyone that’s coming in and out of Australia and New Zealand have travellers coming in and out of COVID areas.”
Source: Newstalk ZB, Stuff & NZ Herald