A Travel Bubble Is Opening Between New Zealand and Australia — but It's a One-way Corridor
New Zealanders will be able to visit Australia, but not the other way around.
Australia and New Zealand are opening up a travel corridor called the “Trans-Tasman Bubble,” officials announced on Friday.
At this moment, the bubble is only planned to work one way. New Zealanders will be able to visit Australia, but not the other way around, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation reported.
Starting Oct. 16, Kiwis will be able to fly into the Australian cities of Sydney and Darwin without undergoing quarantine. “Green lanes” will be set up at airports to collect information necessary for potential contact tracing.
New Zealanders who have been in a “hotspot” — which is defined as any region that has reported three or more new infections a day over three days — during the previous 14 days will not be eligible to travel. They will also be limited to travel only with the Australian states of New South Wales and the Northern Territory. Adelaide, the state capital of South Australia, is likely to become the next city to welcome travelers from New Zealand without quarantine, The Associated Press reported.
Whether or not New Zealand will welcome Australians without quarantine in return will be determined by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Negotiations are still ongoing. At the moment, New Zealanders will be required to quarantine when they return home to their country from Australia.
“We will not open the borders for quarantine-free travel with Australia until it is safe to do so, because doing it too early risks all of the freedoms we already have in our economy,” Ardern told ABC reporters on Friday.
Both New Zealand and Australia enacted strict lockdowns at the start of this year and again when cases of the virus sprung up again in July and August. New Zealand reported a total of 1,848 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and 25 deaths. Australia reported more than 27,000 cases and 888 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Australia is unlikely to reopen its borders completely until 2021.