Australian and New Zealand residents CAN travel between the two nations without having to quarantine from April 19.
> UPDATE: New Zealand slammed the door shut on arrivals from Australia in late July, saying the risk of the Delta variant of Covid-19 being brought into the country was too great.
The much-vaunted two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will officially begin on April 19, meaning residents of both countries can finally travel across the Tasman without having to quarantine.
Australia’s border have been mostly open to New Zealanders since last October, with a few short suspensions due to small coronavirus outbreaks in Auckland.
New Zealand has delayed returning the favour until now because of the higher number of Covid cases in Australia last year.
Open a travel corridor should provide a huge economic boost for both countries, which rely heavily on international travel.
Australians made up around 40 per cent of all international arrivals into New Zealand prior to the global shutdown (1.5 million visitors), while Kiwis accounted for about 15 per cent of all arrivals to Australia, which has a more diversified tourism sector.
One of the first major beneficiaries of the travel bubble will be Hobart, with Air New Zealand revealing it would commence flights from Auckland for the first time in a generation. There’ll also be a new direct flight between Wellington and Sydney.
Qantas and its offshoot Jetstar will resume flights to all pre-Covid destinations in New Zealand from April 19, as well as adding two new routes.
That amounts to 52,000 seats a week and an 83 per cent return to Qantas and Jetstar’s pre-pandemic capacity.
But not every airline is keen to go back there yet. The new owners of Virgin Australia say they won’t restart most flights across the ditch until October 31.
Singapore, which has been identified by the Australian government as a potential travel bubble partner for June or July, enjoys a similar exemplary record in Covid-19 containment. It may be the next travel corridor to open with Australia, but travellers would need to be vaccinated.
How the ‘bubble’ will work.
New Zealand will bring in “green zone” conditions similar to those that its citizens face entering Australia. Airport red zones are for visitors arriving from other countries.
Passengers travelling to New Zealand must have spent the 14 days before the flight in Australia only. Airline crews must have only worked on low-risk routes.
Those with cold or flu symptoms will not be allowed to travel.
All passengers must wear masks and give details to New Zealand authorities of where they will be staying.
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