New Talk Of An Australia – New Zealand Travel Bubble Suggests It Could Happen By Christmas
Despite the Australian Government essentially issuing an international travel ban right back at the start of *all this*, talk of ‘travel bubbles’ has been rife with speculation of when and where.
New Zealand was one of the first countries to put a potential travel bubble on the table, with Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham originally estimating that it could happen as early as July 2020. Obviously, thanks to a rising number of cases in Australia, it did not. Although to be fair, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern did suggest even at the time that it would probably be closer to September. She’s a smart woman.
Well, here we are in September and it seems that a travel bubble is back on the agenda, allowing Australians and New Zealanders to freely travel between the two countries while their borders remains closed to the rest of the world.
Speaking to ABC News on Sunday, September 28, Birmingham once again mentioned his hope for the travel bubble before the end of the year.
“That would just be a great step, and it would prove the work that is being done to make sure this can be done, again, in a safe way — that travellers between Australia and New Zealand can be given corridors and clearances through our international airports without coming into contact with higher-risk travellers who might be returning from other parts of the region and still have to go through quarantine,” he explained.
“It’s up to [New Zealand] as to whether they choose to open up to Australia, but we’re certainly making sure that we’re prepared and I’m hopeful that could be this year and then maybe set a model for us to look at for any other countries that meet similar high standards”.
Birmingham also noted that “first and foremost, we do have to see Australian states open up to one another”.
“[It’s] been great to see the progress, a state like South Australia that’s followed the evidence, done it based on New South Wales having had 14 consecutive days of no community transmission of COVID,” he continued.
Today, the ABC reported that Ardern also had something to say about a potential travel bubble, noting to broadcaster TVNZ that it might be possible on a state-by-state basis before Christmas.
Sooooo, seems like there’s still a bit of a way to go before we’ll be in New Zealand, but I can’t help but start getting my little travel-addict hopes up.
(Lead Image: Unsplash / Tobias Keller)