New Zealand and Australia May Open 'Travel Bubble' Between Nations (Video)
For some travelers, an actual vacation may not be far off.
Though travel restrictions are still in place for many countries due to coronavirus, there are at least two nations who may be able to open up their borders in the near future: Australia and New Zealand.
According to CNN, politicians from both countries are considering opening up certain parts of their countries to each other to create what’s known as a “travel bubble.” A travel bubble merely refers to an area where people can travel within it, but not outside of it.
Both nations have been largely successful at controlling their local coronavirus outbreak, with New Zealand reporting zero new cases for the first time since the crisis started, according to Daily Mail. Both countries are still under some lockdown restrictions.
"If there is any country in the world with whom we can reconnect with first, undoubtedly that's New Zealand," Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in a statement, according to CNN. “Our number one focus at the moment is making sure that both our countries are in the position where we're domestically managing Covid-19 to a point where we can with confidence open borders," New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a press conference last week.
If the two countries decide to create this travel bubble, it would only be applicable to people living in Australia and New Zealand, and no other nations. PM Jacinda Ardern added that continuing to control the virus is the highest priority. Since Australia is made up of states and territories, travelers may not be able to access the entire country, CNN reported. Even Australians traveling between states must undergo a two-week quarantine.
Both countries are essential to one another’s tourism industries, according to CNN. Australia makes up 40 percent of New Zealand’s international arrivals and about 24 percent of its revenue for international visitors, while New Zealand makes up about 15 percent of Australia’s arrivals and about six percent of its revenue, CNN reported. Tourism jobs in New Zealand, in particular, could greatly benefit from this decision.
It is unclear when this travel bubble might go into effect — if it happens at all. The bubble may expand to other countries if it proves successful.