Australia and New Zealand to start quarantine-free travel

Australian and New Zealand residents will likely be in a position to travel between the 2 nations with out having to quarantine from 19 April.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern introduced the transfer on Tuesday.

Since October, New Zealand travellers have been allowed to enter most Australian states with out quarantine, although this had not been reciprocated.

Both nations have since contained Covid outbreaks and saved an infection charges close to zero.

The nations shut their borders in March final 12 months and introduced in obligatory quarantine for returning nationals.

When outbreaks have emerged, each Australia and New Zealand have instated snap lockdowns to halt the virus from spreading.

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Ms Ardern praised such aggressive responses as key to opening the travel bubble.

“I cannot see or point to any countries in the world that are maintaining a strategy of keeping their countries completely Covid-free, whilst opening up to international travel between each other,” she mentioned.

“That means that, in a way, you know, we are world-leading.”

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison welcomed Ms Ardern’s determination, whereas noting that his nation’s border had been open to New Zealanders for shut to six months already.

“We have ensured that both our countries have… not suffered the same types of virus impacts that we have seen in so many other countries,” he mentioned.

“The fact that we can now combine again will mean more jobs, will mean people reunited.”

Australia has recorded 909 deaths because the pandemic started, whereas New Zealand has reported 25.

How would the bubble work?
New Zealand will usher in “green zone” situations comparable to people who its residents face getting into Australia.

Passengers travelling to New Zealand will likely be required to have spent the 14 days earlier than the flight in Australia solely. Airline crews should have solely labored on low-risk routes.
Those with chilly or flu signs is not going to be allowed to travel, and all passengers should put on masks and give particulars to New Zealand authorities of the place they are going to be staying.

Ms Ardern warned that travel preparations might change “if there is an outbreak” – comparable to how Australia has on two events briefly halted travel from New Zealand.

But she mentioned New Zealand would view circumstances in Australia “as a region of our own when making decisions on restrictions”.

If a number of circumstances of an unknown origin emerged “we would likely suspend flights for a set period of time”, she added.

Other situations could also be introduced in too, together with pre-departure testing for folks from affected areas.

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“These precautions are all part of our preparation to keep Covid out,” she mentioned.

“Both countries have had border incursions and I know neither one of us wishes to export Covid to the other country.”

About 1.5 million Australians used to go to New Zealand yearly prior to the pandemic – about 40% of that nation’s worldwide guests.

Ms Ardern mentioned she anticipated most travellers taking early journeys could be going to see household and mates – however added the upcoming ski season would even be an attraction.

Australia’s nationwide service Qantas mentioned it might resume 122 return flights to New Zealand per week as soon as the bubble got here into operation.

This travel bubble is believed to be the second on the earth, after one opened up between the islands of Taiwan and Palau final week.

Australia and New Zealand have additionally beforehand raised the concept of separate travel bubbles with low-risk locations like Singapore, Taiwan and a number of Pacific island nations.

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