Effective October 16th, New Zealand and Australia have officially established limited travel between the two countries. This move gives hope to travelers world-wide that even the most strict countries, in regard to their Coronavirus response, are beginning to slowly but surely open up again. However, this travel bubble does come with certain restrictions and guidelines.
Keep your nose clean
To begin with, the travel bubble will only be one way, from New Zealand to Australia. New Zealand has been a global frontrunner on keeping down their Coronavirus cases by being locked down — and they intend to keep it that way until it is safe for their citizens. In addition, New Zealanders will not be able to travel just anywhere in Australia. Instead, they’re permitted to travel only to places that the Australian Government has said is following the approved guidelines for Coronavirus response.
At the moment, New South Wales and the Northern Territory are the only two areas that fall within that category. No other regions are currently open to travelers.
The main goal of this travel bubble is to eliminate the 14 days of mandatory quarantine for anyone entering Australia. For those who would qualify, this travel bubble would allow for them to skip the necessary 14 days of quarantine. The two countries have always had a very amiable relationship, and many officials are excited to see their New Zealand friends again after a few months of separation.
Not clear just yet
While many Australians are looking forward to seeing New Zealanders return to their country, the same cannot be said of New Zealand. The Prime Minister of New Zealand has said that anyone who travels to Australia will have to face the mandatory 14 day quarantine upon return to New Zealand. Prime Minister Arden is concerned that all the hard fought battles against COVID could be in vain if they preemptively open up travel, even if it is just to one other country.
New Zealand currently has had the lowest global rate of infection, with less than 2,000 cases reported nationwide. Prime Minister Arden has encouraged her people to think logically about what they do, and, if they wish to spend their money on leisure or entertainment, to do so locally. However, the desire to travel is very strong in some. With that in mind, it is likely that, if all continues well, there will be an influx of New Zealanders coming to spend some time with their cousins in the land down under in the very near future.