Published: Tue, April 06, 2021

Jacinda Ardern announces trans-Tasman bubble will start in days

Jacinda Ardern announces trans-Tasman bubble will start in days

The report comes as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is scheduled to announce the date for quarantine-free travel with Australia later on Tuesday, after facing mounting pressure from businesses to open the border.

Ms Ardern called the bubble a "world-first" arrangement.

After several false starts, the long-touted Trans-Tasman travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand is now a reality.

Last month, Australia paved the way for the trans-Tasman bubble by amending its Biosecurity Act, which gives it the legal right to ask all returning residents to quarantine for 14 days.

Fox Glacier Guiding chief Rob Jewell told Mike Hosking on Newstalk ZB that pre-Covid, Australians made up about 32 per cent of his business.

She warned however, that travel arrangements could change "if there is an outbreak", but said going forward, New Zealand would view Australia "as a region of our own when making decisions on restrictions".

"While we absolutely wish to encourage family and friends to reunite and visitors to come and enjoy the hospitality New Zealand is ready and waiting to offer, those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware", she said.

Ms Ardern said there were no conversations about the possibility of a bubble with Singapore and Australia.

Australians travelling to NZ will also have to provide authorities with extensive contact information for their stay. Random temperature checks will be carried out on arriving passengers.

"As you can hear, quite a bit of preparation is being required by airlines and airports and I thank them for that work".

She said she spoke with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk regarding the bubble, and also said "dates are being discussed" regarding a visit to New Zealand by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. A limited schedule for flights to and from Queenstown will remain available for booking from 18 September 2021.

The idea of the travel bubble has been in the news for almost 12 months but has previously been scuttled due to outbreaks.

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