The one-again, off-again Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble is on again, with officials from both New Zealand and Australia hinting that it could be in place by mid-April, thus allowing unrestricted two-way travel between both nations.
New Zealand Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson made the declaration yesterday, which was supported by Tourism Minister Dan Teehan:
“We were working towards a joint framework, a joint set of protocols, but actually I don’t think we’re too far off being able to create the New Zealand version to match up with the Australian version,” he told Radio New Zealand. “There are still a few issues to be ironed out, such as how the countries would handle fresh outbreaks.”
Trade and Tourism Minister Dan Tehan said Australia was working closely with New Zealand to finalise operational arrangements for a two-way safe travel zone.
“The safe travel zone will provide an economic boost for both countries, especially for the tourism and transport sectors, and will reunite families and friends,” he said. “The health and safety of the Australian community remains the government’s top priority and each country will continue to be responsible for decisions about its border”…
“We’ve obviously attempted to open up a bubble with New Zealand. At the moment, that’s a one-way bubble,” he told Sunrise.
“We’re hoping New Zealand will allow Australians in without quarantining…
Whether the travel bubble comes into effect next month remains to be seen. The plan has been scuttled on multiple occasions following virus outbreaks in both nations.
Many travellers may also be reluctant to book flights and accommodation for fear of snap lockdowns, cancellations and potentially being forced into quarantine.
Outside of New South Wales, both nations are trigger happy at closing their borders at the first whiff of a virus outbreak. This makes international travel an inherently risky game of Russian Roulette.