Friday, 16 April, 2021

Australia and New Zealand announce travel bubble starts from April

A file image of Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YIR at Auckland Airport A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YIR at Auckland Airport
Gustavo Carr | 06 April, 2021, 08:23

"If a case is found that is quite clearly linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and is well contained, you'll likely see travel continue in the same way as you could see life continue if that happened here in Australia", said the New Zealand PM.

"Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware", she said.

Australians heading to New Zealand will be kept separate from other worldwide arrives who are still required to go into mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Kiwis have been free to travel to most Australian jurisdictions without being forced into hotel quarantine since October.

"Our health response now gives us the opportunity to connect with loved ones again", Ms Ardern said.

The so-called "travel bubble" would restrict travellers from certain areas in the event of an outbreak in Australia and is expected to run on a state-by-state basis, the broadcaster said.

A file image of Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YIR at Auckland Airport
A Virgin Australia Boeing 737-800 VH-YIR at Auckland Airport

Ms Ardern has said there will be no vaccine requirement when travelling in the trans-Tasman bubble, but some medical checks will be carried out.

About 1.5 million Australians used to visit New Zealand annually pre-Covid.

Airlines and airports stressed yesterday that they were ready to go, and Air NZ is planning to operate quarantine-free flights from April 12 from Auckland to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Ms Ardern's government built enormous credibility with Kiwis in 2020 by putting a premium on public safety during the pandemic.

NZ first agreed the bubble in May after Ms Ardern attended National Cabinet, with Australian counterpart Scott Morrison and state and territory leaders.

Those arrangements have been suspended a number of times due to coronavirus outbreaks in New Zealand.

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