The New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced earlier this month that a two-way trans-Tasman bubble with Australia will start on Monday 19th April. The trans-Tasman bubble refers to the arrangements coming into place on 19th April for travel between New Zealand and Australia, which will avoid quarantine at either end.
When will the trans-Tasman travel bubble start?
From today – Monday 19th April – the two-way bubble goes live. That means people can travel from Australia quarantine to New Zealand, and vice versa.
Will I need a vaccine to travel?
No. There will be no vaccine requirement for travel under the trans-Tasman bubble.
When can I book my flights and who is flying?
Air New Zealand, Qantas and Jetstar have scheduled more direct flights. Air New Zealand will have 30 flights across the Tasman on Monday, carrying more than 5000 people. Qantas has scheduled 25 flights, with another four from Jetstar.
Air New Zealand is also set to launch a new route to coincide with the opening of the travel bubble, offering flights between Auckland and Hobart.
Green Zone Flight
The green zone flights will only carry passengers who have not arrived from other nations other than Australia and NZ in the previous fortnight. Similarly, the planes will only be staffed by crew who have not worked on intercontinental flights recently.
“Upon arrival in New Zealand, passengers will be taken through ‘green zones’ at the airport; meaning there’ll be no contact with those arriving from other parts of the world and going into managed isolation or quarantine facilities” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
"Pent-up demand is evidenced every time borders are opened even fleetingly, as we saw with the (since shelved) Singapore-Hong Kong travel bubble. Foregone trips to meet family and business associates for over a year, will spur demand in the VFR (visiting friends and relatives) and corporate travel markets; as family reunions, and face-to-face commerce, cannot be put off for too long." Subhas Menon, Director General, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines said.
“The Trans-Tasman bubble opened today without quarantine, while bilateral talks are underway to launch travel bubbles from Singapore to Hong Kong as well as to Australia. But there is still many a slip between cup and lip. Travel bubbles can be closed at short notice, if virus cases rise. Airlines must be optimistic and readying for a gradual restart by devoting resources to smart technology solutions, as well as sharpening their commitment to safety and decarbonisation.”Subhas Menon, Director General, Association of Asia Pacific Airlines
Cover Image: via BBC News