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Date set for start of quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand

3AW News
Article image for Date set for start of quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand.

From 11.59pm on Sunday, April 18, quarantine-free travel will be permitted between the two countries.

While announcing the travel bubble, Ms Ardern warned it “will not be what it was pre-COVID”.

“People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak,” she said.

New Zealand will implement a traffic light system for COVID-19 cases in Australia. If COVID-19 cases emerge in the community in an Australian state or territory, New Zealand will pause or suspend flights to that state, not to the whole country.

Executive chair of tourism at the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, John Hart, says the bubble is “so important to Australia”.

“New Zealanders can already come here quarantine-free, we’ll be able to go back over to New Zealand, and more importantly, New Zealanders that come here on holiday can go back without quarantining, and that’s what will give us the big uplift in travel numbers,” he told Stephen Quartermain and Emily Power, filling in for Ross and Russel.

Mr Hart says he hopes other travel bubbles will follow, and he expects Singapore and South Korea will be among the first countries Australians can travel to freely.

“I think they’ll be the next countries to look forward to and then hopefully before too long starting to open up to the rest of the world as well,” he said.

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