New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern agrees to trans-Tasman travel bubble in early 2021

It’s the news we have all been waiting for. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced when the trans-Tasman bubble will likely open. 

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s cabinet has agreed to a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia in the first quarter of 2021.

New Zealand Prime Minister has given the green light for a trans-Tasman travel bubble with Australia to launch by March 2021.

While not giving a firm date, Ms Ardern said her cabinet has now agreed to establish the quarantine-free corridor in the first quarter of 2021, providing Australia can keep COVID-19 case levels low and pending Australia’s cabinet approval.

“It is our intention to name a date of when the bubble will start in the New Year,” she said.

Currently, New Zealanders are allowed into parts of Australia without needing to enter mandatory hotel quarantine.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a travel bubble with Australia will be up and running by March 2021. Picture: Paul Kane/Getty Images.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said a travel bubble with Australia will be up and running by March 2021.

In the Prime Minister’s post cabinet press conference on Monday afternoon, Ms Ardern said that despite the trans-Tasman bubble plan, more preparation needs to be done.

“The opening of the bubble is contingent on Australia’s Cabinet signing it off, and that the Covid-19 situation in either country doesn’t change,” she said.

“I’m incredibly proud of what our team of five million have achieve.

“New Zealand currently has the lowest Covid-19 mortality rate and lowest number of active cases of OECD countries.”

Ms Ardern said one of the biggest hurdles in establishing a bubble is the segregation of passengers from “safe zone” countries deemed low risk, and those travelling in from Covid-19 affected countries. Another issue to be resolved is a contingency plan in case there’s a resurgence of numbers in Australia.

New Zealand’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the airlines which have grounded fleet and furloughed staff had indicated the will need a notice period before the bubble begins. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

New Zealand’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the airlines which have grounded fleet and furloughed staff had indicated the will need a notice period before the bubble begins.

New Zealand’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins will be visiting Auckland Airport tomorrow to see how they plan to organise segregating travellers.

According to the New Zealand Herald, one of the options on the table for bringing back New Zealanders from Australia if there was an outbreak there is for those returning travellers to self-isolate when they return home depending on this.

Mr Hipkins said the airlines which have grounded fleet and furloughed staff had indicated they’d need a notice period before the trans-Tasman bubble was operational.

Pack your bags and dust off that passport, looks like we will be able to travel to New Zealand from early next year. Picture: Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images.

Pack your bags and dust off that passport, looks like we will be able to travel to New Zealand from early next year.

The much-awaited announcement comes just days after Queensland opened its border to visitors from New Zealand.

The first Kiwis were allowed into the Sunshine State on Saturday, after New Zealand went 28 days without a case of community transmission of Covid-19.

Alongside Queensland, New Zealanders can already travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory without isolating although they have to quarantine for two weeks on arriving home.

More to come.


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