Australia and New Zealand announce travel bubble starts from April

A ferry sails past the Opera House in Sydney Australia

A ferry sails past the Opera House in Sydney Australia

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the much-anticipated pandemic travel bubble between Australia and our Kiwi counterparts is set to officially commence in less than two weeks. It will restore unrestricted, two-way travel between the two neighbors for the first time since the coronavirus pandemic forced them to close their global borders more than a year ago.

'People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak'. It's the first taste of restriction-free worldwide travel we have seen since the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Qantas, however, is set to ramp up routes between the two countries, in particular between Sydney and Auckland.

Air New Zealand will also reintroduce direct services between Auckland and Perth, between Wellington, Christchurch and Sydney, and between Queenstown and Sydney.

Airlines and airports stressed yesterday that they were ready to go, and Air NZ is planning to operate quarantine-free flights from April 12 from Auckland to Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

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Most Australian states have opened their borders to New Zealanders since last October but New Zealand has delayed returning the favour due to sporadic outbreaks in some Australian cities.

As expected, a number of protocols have been put in place to ensure this travel bubble remains in-tact, and doesn't come to an abrupt stand-still.

Passengers will also be required to wear facemask during the flight and must download New Zealand's Covid tracer app.

Ardern has also outlined situations in which the travel bubble would remain in-tact, as well as situations in which it would be paused.

The trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will reopen from April 19 as both countries continue to enjoy low coronavirus cases.

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