New Zealand agrees to establish the much awaited travel bubble with neighboring Australia. However, there is no confirm date on when the corridor would start.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on December 14 that they might start the travel bubble between the two countries in the first quarter of next year. This means that people traveling between the two countries will not have to quarantine for 14 days at either end.
Since October, travelers from New Zealand are enjoying a quarantine-free travel to certain Australian destinations. But they still have to quarantine when they return home.
Ardern’s announcement means that the bubble, which has been discussed for months and has been widely anticipated by people in both countries. It will finally allow for quarantine-free travel both ways.
However, Australia and New Zealand were following the strictest border measures in the world. Moreover, both countries were not operating international flights and closed their borders for foreign travelers.
However, both countries require citizens returning from abroad to quarantine for 14-days. They will have to stay in a state facility at their own cost.
Lowest Number of Cases
As a result, both the countries were able to contain the virus from spreading. And had the lowest number of coronavirus cases. Australia has reported 28,000 coronavirus cases, including 908 deaths, while New Zealand has reported 1,740 cases and 25 deaths.
Ardern said that the bubble depended on confirmation from the Australian cabinet. And “no significant change in the circumstances of either country”. She said the government planned to name a date for the travel bubble next year.
“I think for now, New Zealanders by and large appreciate the approach of the Government to ensure that we are not taking on unnecessary risk as we going into summer and a much needed summer break for New Zealanders.”
However, this approach will help boost tourism and will allow people to come back who are living away from home.
Although the two countries are separated by about 2,000 km (1,243 miles) of sea. They have one of the closest bilateral relationships in the world.
However, people holding Australian passport can travel and work in New Zealand indefinitely without a visa, and vice versa. An estimated 670,000 New Zealand citizens live in Australia, which is round 15% of the population of New Zealand. whereas around 70,000 Australians live in New Zealand.
For New Zealanders, it provides more tourism options beyond domestic destinations, including the Chatham Islands, an archipelago around 500 miles from New Zealand’s South Island which has been been experiencing a spike in tourism this year.