Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble Officially Begins
The Australia-New Zealand travel bubble officially started today with the countries seeing hundreds of passengers arriving at their airports. The travel bubble is a major milestone for both countries as this is the first time in over a year that they have seen quarantine-free travel on both sides.
Australia has allowed New Zealand residents to enter certain states without having to serve a quarantine since late last year. However, up till today, New Zealand still requires Australian travellers to serve a quarantine considering the fact that Australia is still experiencing occasional outbreaks of the Covid-19 virus.
Monday was an emotional day as both airports saw families reuniting for the first time since the pandemic began spreading around the world in early 2020 as well as large groups of people moving through the international terminals in both airports
Qantas is, at the moment, looking to increase their flights between the countries to 200 each week as they are currently seeing flights that are almost at full capacity.
There is also immense hope that this travel bubble will aid in the economic recovery of both counties as well as reunite the many families that were separated when the borders closed. Currently, over half a million New Zealand-born people live in Australia.
That said, Australia's Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern have said in a joint statement that travellers should prepare for changes in the travel arrangements as they are constantly reviewing it and will make changes should there be an outbreak.
Currently, Hong Kong is also working on establishing travel bubbles with other countries with lower risks of Covid-19 infections. Singapore and Hong Kong are currently in the process of finalising details regarding a travel bubble between the two counties.
See also: IATA Launches Digital Pass for Covid-safe International Travel