Australians are free to travel to New Zealand without quarantine

James Marshall
Апреля 7, 2021

After a long wait, worldwide travel is finally back on the cards - New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern today announced the start date for the two-way travel bubble between NZ and Australia, allowing travellers to flit back and forth between the two countries without needing to quarantine.

The news comes despite Virgin Australia surprisingly announcing it won't fly most of its New Zealand routes until 31 October.

The virus has effectively been eradicated in both countries, with minor outbreaks a result of leakage from quarantined returned travelers.

Ardern's announcement is also good news for the Rugby Championship which is due to revert to its four-nation format with the return of South Africa later this year.

Jacinda Ardern said the bubble was a "world first" arrangement.

Travel between the two countries is set to resume from 11.59pm on Sunday April 18.

About 568,000 New Zealand-born people live in Australia, according to 2018 figures, equivalent to 2.3 percent of the Australian population and Australia's fourth-largest migrant community.

It's expected that Air New Zealand will also be reopening their global airport lounges across Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Melbourne, Auckland, Christchurch, and Wellington.

If New Zealand detects multiple cases of unknown origin, the government will likely suspend flights for a set period of time.

"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".

"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. This will include vigilant contact tracing, and "green zones" separating travellers from Australia and New Zealand, and travellers from other destinations not within the bubble. Random temperature checks will be carried out on arriving passengers.

"As you can hear, quite a bit of preparation is being required by airlines and airports and I thank them for that work".

Qantas Domestic and International CEO, Andrew David, said, "We know Australians are keen to head overseas again, so we expect strong demand for flights to New Zealand and there are many Kiwis who can't wait for a winter escape to warmer weather in Australia".

CEO Stephen Byron has said Canberra's COVID-safe record made it the flawless choice to be a port of departure and arrival for trans-Tasman travel, for which there was huge pent-up demand.

The airline group also said it would launch two new routes from Auckland to Cairns and the Gold Coast alongside restarting all its traditional routes between the two countries.

The idea of the travel bubble has been in the news for almost 12 months but has previously been scuttled due to outbreaks.

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