New Zealand and Australia to launch travel bubble in 2021

Posted by Anita Froneman on 14 December 2020

New Zealand and Australia will launch a quarantine-free travel bubble in early 2021. The two Oceanian countries have been in talks over an agreement that would permit residents of both to visit each other freely for months, but it has not been established until now.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday, December 14 that a date for the commencement of the travel agreement will be announced ‘in the New Year, once remaining details are locked down,’ reports News Hub.

New Zealanders have been allowed to enter some parts of Australia quarantine-free since October, but Australians are not allowed to visit New Zealand for any purposes except for certain essential exemptions.

New Zealand and Australia to launch travel bubble in 2021

Bridal Veil Fall in New Zealand

Australia’s Health Minister Greg Hunt said that their country would be ready as soon as New Zealand gives the green light. ‘We understand it may take a few more weeks, but we are working constructively and patiently,’ he said according to The Guardian.

‘New Zealand has been a great partner and I have previously spoken with my counterpart in New Zealand, they have done well through the pandemic.’

New Zealand has also agreed to a quarantine-free travel bubble with the Cook Islands, a self-governing island country in the South Pacific Ocean in free association with New Zealand. ‘The arrangement recognises the special ties between New Zealand and the Cook Islands,’ Ardern said according to Al Jazeera. 

Other Pacific islands have also lobbied to be included in the trans-Tasman bubble, but a response from authorities have not been released.

A massive third of the jobs in Fiji, Palau and Vanuatu are dependent on the tourism industry and makes up at least 40% of gross domestic product, reports the Financial Times.

Oceania includes 14 countries: Australia, Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, New Zealand, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu.


Picture: Pixabay

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