New Zealanders Will Be Able to Travel to Australia from Mid-October as Part of a One-Way Bubble
To start, New Zealanders will be allowed to visit NSW and the NT — and won't have to quarantine on arrival.
It has been more than six months since the Australian Government introduced an effective ban on international travel in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 within the country. And, over that time, there has been plenty of speculation about when jetting overseas might resume — including predictions that the entire global travel industry mightn't return to normal until 2023, and that Australia's borders could remain closed until 2021.
When it comes to Australia's prolonged border closure, an exception has been floated, however. Receiving ample chatter over the past few months is the concept of a travel bubble with New Zealand, which would allow international travel between the two countries, even as they potentially remain closed to other nations. Now, the first stage of the bubble has been announced — but, sadly for some, it's only one way.
In a media appearance today, Friday, October 2, Australia's Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced that New Zealanders will be allowed to visit New South Wales and the Northern Territory, without having to quarantine on arrival, from 12.01am on Friday, October 16.
"This will allow New Zealanders and other residents in New Zealand who have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hot spot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days to travel quarantine free to Australia," McCormack said today.
The Deputy PM also said he hopes this is just the start of the two-country travel bubble, hinting to it expanding to further parts of Australia in the near future. "This is the first stage in what we hope to see as a trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries, not just that state and that territory," he said.
Responding to the announcement, a spokesperson for New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden said the travel arrangements have not changed for New Zealanders. Which means, travellers to Australia would need to enter 14 days of managed isolation on return to NZ — and pay for it.
Unfortunately, as mentioned, this is currently a one-way travel bubble, so Aussies shouldn't rush to book a holiday across the ditch — just yet. The ABC reported earlier in the week that Ardern had mentioned that travel from Australia to NZ might be possible on a state-by-state basis before Christmas. Here's hoping.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia and how to protect yourself, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website. To find out more about the virus and travel restrictions in New Zealand, head over to the NZ Government's COVID-19 hub.
Published on October 02, 2020 by Sarah Ward