COVID-19 upturn stalls reopening of Australia’s travel bubble with New Zealand

Highlights 

  • New Zealand’s government has brushed off the possibility of resuming quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia in the near future.
  • There have been multiple alterations to the elimination strategies against the virus from time to time to mollify the degree of risk of infection in the community.  
  • With several instances of in and out of the travel bubble, uncertainty prevails over Australia’s set plans of resuming international travel in the initial months of the coming year.

The reopening of Australia NZ travel bubble has received another setback after New Zealand’s Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins brushed off the possibility of resuming quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia in the near future.

Countries have been altering their elimination strategy against the virus from time to time to mollify the degree of risk of infection in the community. By the same token, there have been countess variations to aviation programs related to international travel. The world has been striving against the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic since more than one-and-a-half years now.

In this article, we will bring forth the key details and recent updates regarding the travel bubble shared between Australia and New Zealand, and how it will impact the people in Australia who wish to travel to New Zealand.

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd.

On & off suspension of NZ-AUS travel bubble

On 23 July 2021, New Zealand had suspended the travel bubble with Australia in view of surge in COVID-19 cases. So, for now all quarantine-free flights between Australia and New Zealand are paused. Also, the proposed red flights from Australia which New Zealand government had announced on 25 August have been put on hold.

However, the NZ Government’s stance of not opening quarantine free Trans Tasmanian bubble has dimmed hopes of travel during Christmas festive season between the two countries. 

Related article: Why did NZ cease its travel bubble with NSW?

The government has taken the decision after deliberating over the present-day situation of the pandemic. So, anyone who is currently in Australia but wants to travel to New Zealand will have to put their plans on the back burner for now.

However, any emergency movement will be allowed between the two countries post approval from concerned authorities. For instance, one flight will depart from Sydney for New Zealand on 15 September, with people who qualify for an emergency allocation of a voucher for Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ).

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media Pty Ltd.

Related article: What is being expected from Air NZ’s FY22 earnings amid the on-and-off ‘travel bubble’?

Prevalence of COVID-19 in Australia

There have been total 66,318 cases of COVID-19 in Australia till date, of which 29,085 cases are active, while 1,060 lives have been lost due to the infection. The country is heading forward in direction to win against the community outbreak of COVID-19 with its massive vaccination drive.

As of 8 September 2021, more than 21.5 million Australians have been vaccinated against the infection.

Bottom Line

With several instances of in and out of the travel bubble, uncertainty prevails over Australia’s set plans of resuming international travel in the initial months of the coming year. The outbreak of the pandemic and its impact on people will determine future pathways for the travel industry.

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