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New Zealand offers Australasian travel bubble subject to Coronavirus levels staying low
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has suggested that a trans-Tasman travel bubble with Australia could be opened in the first quarter of 2021.
With Australian Health Minister, Greg Hunt saying Australia is ready for an Australasian travel bubble, Prime Minister Arden did not name a date for the reestablishment of trans-Tasman travel but advised that the start of quarantine free travel in the New Year would be on condition Australia’s COVID-19 case numbers stayed low.
Speaking after New Zealand's Cabinet agreed in principle to establish a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia, Prime Minister Arden explained “we’ve never been wanting to put specific dates prematurely before we’ve made final decisions because people make plans, people book flights, and people may potentially have quarantine bookings that they could cancel.
“We don’t want anyone to do that prematurely until we have certainty around when it will open.”
Prime Minister Arden said the New Zealand Government would plan for contingencies in case of a sudden outbreak in Australia, adding “we would need to make arrangements to have potentially thousands of New Zealanders brought back to New Zealand in numbers that we wouldn’t be able to facilitate, necessarily, managed isolation.”
Minister Hunt welcomed the announcement saying the Australian Government would "absolutely" approve the agreement, and that increased travel between the two countries would benefit both economies.
With Queensland having opened its borders to New Zealanders last week, Minister Hunt advised “we consciously opened up Australia to people coming from New Zealand because their case numbers were negligible and we knew there would come a time when our case numbers would give them confidence.
"Now this gives the chance for … Australians to visit New Zealand … without having to quarantine.
"It's the first step on a return to international normality."
The weekend saw New Zealand and the Cook Islands announce a similar travel bubble, letting people travel between the two countries without quarantine.
Image: New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Credit: Shutterstock.
20th November 2020 - Lincoln University academic wins top New Zealand tourism award
20th November 2020 - New Zealand Tourism Minister sets goals to attract ‘high-net-worth’ visitors
18th November 2020 - New Zealand tourism operators struggling with staffing
4th November 2020 - Tourism Industry celebrates opening of NSW and Victoria border
19th October 2020 - New Government’s first 100 days critical to New Zealand tourism
7th October 2020 - Analysis shows New Zealand tourism industry reeling from COVID-19 crisis
22nd September 2020 - Queensland Government to allow border opening to northern NSW
4th September 2020 - New Zealand tourism industry event to focus on revival and revitalisation
28th August 2020 - Tourism Industry calls for state premiers to reopen borders
24th August 2020 - Singapore opens ‘travel bubble’ for New Zealanders
19th August 2020 - Federal Tourism Minister urges states open their borders
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