Friday, 16 April, 2021

Australia New Zealand Travel Bubble Will Open April 19

Phil Walter  Getty Images Phil Walter Getty Images
Ginger Lawrence | 07 April, 2021, 07:50

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday confirmed that the corridor would open on April. 19, giving SANZAAR, New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia just over five weeks to ensure that the competition can begin as scheduled in the middle of May.

The major airline said frequently changing border restrictions meant it was now unfeasible to offer more frequent, and earlier flights across the Tasman.

Ardern described it as a world leading move between New Zealand, with just 26 Covid-19 deaths in a population of five million, and Australia with fewer than 1,000 deaths in a population of 25 million.

"We are continuing discussions with Qantas and Air New Zealand, and we remain hopeful there is an opportunity to commence services between Canberra and Auckland or Canberra and Wellington".

"While the airline remains committed to Trans-Tasman flying when the market fully recovers, we are mindful of evolving border requirements which add complexity to our business as we push ahead with plans to grow our core domestic Australia operations", the airline said in a statement.

A one-way New Zealand travel bubble was put in place in October, allowing New Zealanders to travel to Australians without quarantine. We would love you to sing along, but it may be beneath you, but we will give it a go anyway, ' Stefanovic said.

He said Australia should now look to establish more travel bubbles with other countries where COVID-19 cases are low.

"The ACT Government has been involved in ongoing discussions with relevant aviation partners on Canberra-New Zealand flights", he said.

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The trans-Tasman travel bubble will open on April 18, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed.

Canberra Airport CEO Stephen Byron.

Aussies on specially allocated "green zone" flights will be required to wear a mask while on board and will also be asked to download and use the NZ COVID Tracer app for use while in the country.

Qantas, however, is set to ramp up routes between the two countries, in particular between Sydney and Auckland.

The Australian Airports Association said the long-awaited two-way travel bubble would provide a much-needed boost to the aviation and tourism sectors and help to increase the confidence of potential travellers.

"Our consumer research suggests Australians are eager to get on an aircraft and start travelling again with nearly 80 per cent of Australians supportive of creating travel bubbles with countries where levels of COVID-19 are low", chief executive James Goodwin said.

However, just hours before Ardern's announcement, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it would be at least another month before he could allow holidays overseas.

He said the bubble would mean more jobs and be a boost for the struggling travel industry. The one-way travel corridor began in October previous year, allowing passengers from New Zealand to arrive in Australia without having to quarantine - but they've still been required to quarantine for 14 days after returning to NZ.