Quarantine-free Australia, NZ travel "not far off"

Positive signs that the long-awaited travel bubble could open as soon as April.

By Bloomberg News, March 19 2021
Quarantine-free Australia, NZ travel

New Zealand and Australia are close to agreeing terms for a quarantine-free travel corridor, New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said.

“There’s a few issues still to talk through, including what we do in the event that there is an outbreak, how we manage people who aren’t in their home country at that time,” Robertson told Radio New Zealand on Thursday.

“So we’re working through that, but I’m very optimistic we’ll sort that out in reasonably short order. I don’t think we’re too far off.”

While New Zealand and Australia are both star performers in the battle against Covid-19, plans for a so-called travel bubble between the neighbors have been repeatedly pushed back as each nation grappled with sporadic outbreaks.

A resumption of unrestricted travel would be a big boost for ailing tourism industries on both sides of the Tasman Sea.

The Stuff news website reported that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet could decide as soon as next week to open the border to Australia from mid-April, without saying where it got the information.

Australia already allows New Zealanders to visit without having to quarantine but they are required to do so on their return to New Zealand, making the journey a less attractive proposition.

This article is published under license from Bloomberg Media: the original article can be viewed here