It has been many months of speculation regarding travel between Australia and New Zealand. At last, the first stages of the bubble is set to roll out.
The “Trans-Tasman Bubble” is going to start in a couple of weeks. There will be restrictions, to begin with.
So many of us are keen to pop across to our Pacific neighbours.
Unfortunately, our government is still saying “We don’t Know”.
The bubble will only mean that New Zealanders can come to Australia, but not the other way around!
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said that discussions between Prime Minister Scott Morrison and NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern are continuing. He said, “it’s very much in Prime Minister Arden’s court at the moment”. “We want to make sure that there is two-way travel, and that would be something that I will leave to those negotiations.”
Ms Ardern has said that they are not ready to have quarantine-free travel with Australia.
“We have resisted opening the border because we have wanted to keep Kiwis safe,” She said.
“We will not open the borders for quarantine-free travel with Australia until it is safe to do so, because doing it too early risks all of the freedoms, we already have in our economy.”
New Zealand Travelling to Australia
It looks like, to begin with, it will mean visitors to Australia can only go to New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Mr McCormack said that was because both jurisdictions impose travel restrictions on places in line with the Commonwealth’s definition of a hotspot — a place with a three-day rolling average of three locally acquired cases per day.
It is important to note that visitors from New Zealand will only be allowed to visit if they haven’t been to a designated hotspot in the last 14 days.
Regarding South Australia, Mr McCormak said “They will probably certainly be the next cab off the rank – South Australia is very close to agreeing to these terms and to agreeing to be the next jurisdiction to come on board,”
What does it all mean to travellers
Visitors from New Zealand can visit Australia without having to go into quarantine from midnight on 16th October 2020.
The Deputy Prime Minister said “green lanes” would be put in place at airports and extra staff on deck to help collect information for potential contact tracing.
As well as a boost for tourism, Mr McCormack said the bubble would also make it easier for people who wanted to come and work on farms, fruit picking or shearing to come over.
It will also take the pressure off Australian quarantine arrangements as there would be room in quarantine for an extra 325 passengers a week. Mr McCormack said “This Trans-Tasman Bubble means that there are going to be more places open for more Australians to come home from abroad.”