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New Zealand agrees to travel bubble with Australia

New Zealand agrees to travel bubble with Australia

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says her government has agreed “in principle” to an Australia New Zealand travel bubble from early 2021.

Once formalised, the agreement would mean that Australians would NOT have to quarantine in New Zealand.

In her final post-cabinet press conference of the year, Ardern said the travel bubble could open in “the first quarter of 2021”.

The exact date will be announced early next year after arrangements have been made.

Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand
Hooker Valley Track, New Zealand

When will it happen?

The exact date will be announced early next year after arrangements have been made.

The Australian cabinet would need to sign off on the Australia New Zealand travel bubble once the details have been finalised.

But that is seen as a formality.

The travel bubble will also depend on the COVID-19 situation in both countries remaining the same.

Travel bubble details

Ardern told TVNZ New Zealand was working through plans for how to bring New Zealanders back home if a coronavirus outbreak occurs in Australia.

One of the options on the table is allowing returned travellers to self-isolate when they return home.

“We have to make decisions on how we potentially quarantine thousands of returning individuals who would then need to come back,” Ardern said.

“We would need to know how we’re dealing with the internal borders with Australia and also we would have to have the airlines ready. We are quite keen to see segregated airline staff for quarantine-free travel.”

Ardern said the issues were “not insurmountable”.

New Zealand’s Subantarctic Islands

The Australia New Zealand travel bubble announcement follows a quarantine-free travel deal between New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

That Pacific Island travel bubble will also begin in early 2021.

Get excited Australia, it’s finally happening.

A New Zealand getaway to Matakauri Lodge

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