Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble: New Zealand Open For Aussies This Month

Australia and New Zealand to start quarantine-free travel

Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble: New Zealand Open For Aussies This Month

Australians flying to New Zealand will travel through what is being described as a "green zone" on flights and airports, meaning they won't come into contact with others flying in from other parts of the world.

Before today's announcement, several Australian states - namely New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland - already allowed Kiwis to travel into the country without the need for quarantine, but they wouldn't be greeted with the same freedom when they returned home.

"The Director-General of Health considers the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from Australia to New Zealand to now be low, and that quarantine-free travel would be safe to commence", she said on Tuesday.

The news will come as a major boost to the two countries' Super Rugby sides, who have only played against domestic opposition since the regular Super Rugby season was cancelled in March 2020.

All Australian states, with the exception of Western Australia, opened to visitors from New Zealand last October.

The news will also come as a boost to test rugby in the southern hemisphere, which was seriously hampered by the pandemic a year ago.

"If a case is found that is quite clearly linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and is well contained, you'll likely see travel continue in the same way as you could see life continue if that happened here in Australia", said the New Zealand PM.

The major airline said frequently changing border restrictions meant it was now unfeasible to offer more frequent, and earlier flights across the Tasman.

Chief Executive James Goodwin said the new arrangement would allow Australians and New Zealanders to reconnect.

Australia and New Zealand to start quarantine-free travel

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Tuesday confirmed that the corridor would open on April. 19, giving SANZAAR, New Zealand Rugby and Rugby Australia just over five weeks to ensure that the competition can begin as scheduled in the middle of May.

Ms Ardern has outlined three possible responses if a case was detected in Australia that would involve continuing, pausing or suspending the two-way travel arrangement.

From that point, travellers arriving from Australia will not be required to undertake 14 days of mandatory hotel quarantine.

Ms Ardern, however, warned about the possibility of travel being disrupted going forward if cases are detected.

Multiple cases of unknown origin could also result in flights being suspended for a period of time.

However, Virgin Australia said while the travel bubble was a step in the right direction it would only be offering a limited schedule for flights to the ski resort town of Queenstown over the next five months. Either simply monitor for symptoms, take a test before they depart, isolate on arrival or possibly go into hotel quarantine for up to 14 days.

The idea of the travel bubble has been in the news for almost 12 months but has previously been scuttled due to outbreaks.

She said in a normal year, Australian tourists contributed as much as $2 billion worth of spending to New Zealand's economy.

However, travellers will be required to provide their contact details, use New Zealand's COVID-19 contact tracing app and wear a mask on the plane.

US Still in Life and Death Race Against Coronavirus: Biden