New Zealand has agreed to a quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia “in principal”. The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said trips under the agreement could begin early next year.
However, the much-anticipated deal will depend on the Covid-19 situation in both counties remaining as it is now, travellers from New Zealand have been allowed to enter most Australian states without quarantine since October. So far though, this has been a one-way agreement – meaning they must do 14 days of managed isolation on their return to New Zealand. And Australians are not allowed into New Zealand at all, unless they have an exemption, Ms Ardern did not give a date for the travel bubble to begin and the agreement will still need to be signed off by the Australian government.
Both countries have had very low case numbers over recent months but there have been regional outbreaks in Australia, New Zealand was one of the first countries to declare itself virus free in June after a complete border closure and one strict lockdown period. It has since had a few cases. A planned travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong last month had to be postponed because of surging cases in the city.