Australia has “unilaterally” lifted the ban on travel to New Zealand, marking a significant development in a trans-Tasman Travel Bubble.
Health Minister Greg Hunt has amended Australia’s emergency biosecurity laws, meaning anyone who has been in Australia for at least 14 days can travel “directly to New Zealand”.
Most Australian states continue to allow New Zealand citizens entry, quarantine free, under a one-way corridor; although returning New Zealanders, and visiting Australians, face two weeks of quarantine. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed that she will announce a start date on the full Travel Bubble on 6th April.
Ms Ardern said that the decision is dependant on certain criteria being met, including creating plans for managing a potential outbreak in either country, as well as international contact tracing and any technical issues being resolved. She described the bubble as a “priority” but noted that many New Zealanders are “nervous” about opening up.
“We want to keep it moving – but we also want to keep both sides safe. So there may be a time where we take precautionary approaches and for short periods of time travel ceases.”Jacinda Ardern
New Zealanders are also being warned about a “flyer beware” system, which Ms Ardern says could strand citizens in Australia, in the event of an outbreak.
Airlines in both countries are aiming for the bubble to open in April and are “95 per cent ready” to fly quarantine-free flights, a group representing the industry has said.
Source: Stuff NZ