Australia-New Zealand travel bubble officially opens this month

New Zealand will permit Australians to travel to the country quarantine-free, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a press conference Tuesday, April 6.

The travel bubble is set to start on Sunday, April 18 at 11:59 pm, Ardern added. Australia has permitted New Zealand travelers to enter without isolate, and New Zealand is currently taking action accordingly.

“This is an important step forward in our Covid response and represents an arrangement I do not believe we have seen in any other part of the world. That is, safely opening up international travel to another country while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and a commitment to keeping the virus out,” Ardern said during the event.

Under the new rules, travelers will not be permitted to travel in the event that they had a positive Covid-19 test in the past 14 days or present influenza like indications. The head administrator additionally said travel “will not be what it was pre-covid”, explaining flights could be suspended again for a situation of new outbreak or travelers may be approached to take a PCR test or quarantine upon arrival, contingent upon the nature and starting point of the infections.

Ardern additionally said travelers coming from Australia will load up “green zone” flights.

“That means there will be no passengers on that flight who have come from anywhere but Australia in the last 14 days,” Ardern said, adding the crews operating the connection “have not flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time.”

“[This] travel bubble represents a start of a new chapter in our covid response and recovery, one that people have worked so hard at. That makes New Zealand and Australia relatively unique. I know family, friends and significant parts of our economy will welcome it, as I know I certainly do,” Ardern said.

The hotly anticipated “trans-Tasman bubble” has had its ups and downs. The plan was first floated in October 2020, however then turned into a one-way bubble when another flood of cases struck Australia, which means New Zealanders could go to Australia for the most part without issue yet that Aussies couldn’t go to New Zealand.

What’s more, that isn’t the only “bubble” in the Asia-Pacific region that either burnt out or was deferred in the midst of the ever-changing pandemic situation.

In late 2020, New Zealand concurred that it would focus on an air pocket with the Cook Islands, yet that far has neglected to appear.

Then, Fiji reported its goal to create a “Bula bubble” with different nations in the area, including both Australia and New Zealand, yet the thought presently can’t seem to make ground floor.

An ground between Hong Kong and Singapore was because of start in November however was canceled only 24 hours in front of the primary trips because of a small spike in cases in Hong Kong.

New Zealand’s hard work toward containing the infection appears to have paid off. The nation recorded only 2,524 cases and 26 deaths since the start of the pandemic.