Australia and New Zealand create travel bubble

New Zealanders should be 'very, very proud' of trans-Tasman bubble opening - PM

New Zealanders should be 'very, very proud' of trans-Tasman bubble opening - PM

Australia was New Zealand's largest source of global tourists before the pandemic, accounting for about 1.5 million arrivals or 40% of total visitors in 2019. Israel mask-free again In Fiji authorities ordered two cities into lockdown Monday after recording its first case of Covid-19 community transmission in 12 months.

Monday marked the opening of a "travel bubble" between Australia and New Zealand that allows Australians to visit New Zealand without entering a mandatory coronavirus quarantine period.

"This is an important step forward in our COVID response and represents an arrangement I do not believe we have seen in any other part of the world", Ardern said from New Zealand's parliament in Wellington.

Australians can now travel around the globe by exploiting a loophole in the New Zealand travel bubble - as long as they're happy to risk being stranded overseas. "I had to be on the first flight out", Heather Lyberopoulos, 56, who is anxious to reunite with her sister, said in the interview with ABC.

"Today's milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders, boosting our economies while keeping our people safe", Morrison said in the news release. Qantas Airways will reportedly conduct 25 roundtrip flights to New Zealand on Monday.

Travellers were greeted into Wellington International Airport with a unique "Welcome Whanau" arrival, a collaboration between Air New Zealand, Wellington NZ and Wellington Airport with support from New Zealand Māori Tourism and Tourism New Zealand. The Pacific island nation has largely contained the virus through strict isolation measures and border controls, recording less than 100 cases and just two deaths in a population of 930,000.

"We have been waiting more than 12 months for the restart of global travel and today it begins with one of the Gold Coast's most important overseas markets and Australia's closest neighbour".

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The first flights landed in New Zealand earlier this morning. The pair said that the travel bubble will be under constant review and that in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, borders could close with little or no warning.

The airline's chief executive, Greg Foran, said it was also a "monumental" day for those involved in the hard-hit tourism industry. "It's day one of our revival", he said.

"The bubble marks a significant step in both countries' reconnection with the world and it's one we should all take a moment to be very proud of", New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a news release from Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison's office.

Passengers have been warned that quarantine-free travel could be suspended at any time in case of COVID-19 outbreaks.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.

"Given the impact of this separation on so many people, we are expecting to see lots of emotional reunions at Gold Coast Airport over the next few weeks".

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