Why did NZ cease its travel bubble with NSW?

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Why did NZ cease its travel bubble with NSW?

 Why did NZ cease its travel bubble with NSW?
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Summary

  • New Zealand has recently opened its borders for the two-way quarantine free travel between Australia and Cook Islands
  • However, the trans-Tasman bubble between New South Wales and the Kiwi nation has been paused owing to the emergence of a new Covid cases
  • Health authorities of both the countries are keeping a close watch on the situation

Ever since the onset of COVID-19, the world has witnessed unprecedented crisis, with global economies taking a hit. Most of the industries and sectors were spooked by this deadly disease.

However, the hardest hit sector is the tourism sector, with airlines being grounded, hotels closed, and travel restrictions put in place in almost all the countries across the world.

People were confined to their homes, many of them had to cancel or delay their travel plans due to the closure of borders and lockdowns.

With tourism contributing a big chunk towards a country's GDP, governments across the globe are struggling to work out ways to revive the travel and tourism sector and ensure a continuous cash stream associated with this sector, thus giving rise to the 'travel bubble.'

What is a ‘travel bubble?’

Travel bubble, also known as travel bridges or corona corridors, are bilateral bubble arrangement between 2 or more countries, which have contained the spread of coronavirus and have opened their borders for each other but have closed the borders for the remaining countries.

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Does New Zealand have a travel bubble?

With New Zealand successfully stemming the spread of COVID-19 and continuous deliberations with its neighbouring country, it finally announced its plans for a two-way quarantine free travel with, Australia, from 19 April 2021 onwards.

Ever since the opening of the trans-Tasman travel arrangement between the two countries, thousands of travellers have crossed the shores to reunite with their family and friends. 

Also, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced another travel bubble with the tiny Pacific nation, Cook Islands, from 18 May.

Ardern stated that the green travel zone between Cook Islands and New Zealand will not only witness the reunion of loved ones but also boost the businesses and tourism.

Further, one-way travel quarantine free travel from Nieu to Auckland is also in place.

Rise in travellers since the opening of travel bubble

As per Stats NZ, the border crossings in April 2021 were 85,900, which comprised of 47,000 arrivals and departures amounting to 38,900.

Moreover, provisional data for May 2021 indicates a future increase in border crossings.

Must Read: Trans-Tasman neighbours witnesses The Travel boom

A peek into the Aussie-NZ travel

It is pointed out that there were 39,000 arrivals and 30,200 departures to and from Australia in April 2021, thus amounting to 70,000 border crossings between the Aussie nation.

Kiwis reflect nearly 60% of arrivals from Australia and 67% of departures to the country.

However, ever since the opening of the travel bubble, bookings from Australia are more as compared to New Zealand. More inflow of Kiwi tourists is yet to be witnessed.

A look at the NZ travel with the Cook Islands

Provisional data till 6 June 2021 reflects 702 weekly arrivals from Cooks Island to the Kiwi land, while weekly departures for NZ to Cooks nation amounted to 1,137.

It is noted that travel between the two nations picked up in the first week of June 2021.

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

What is spooking the trans-Tasman travel?

As tourism between Australia and New Zealand is getting back to normal, the resurgence of COVID-19 cases in Australia is haunting the travel bubble.

As per the latest updates, Aotearoa has suspended travel with New South Wales as new cases have emerged in its capital city, Sydney.

NZ’s Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced the halt, which came into effect from 11:59 pm (NZST) on Tuesday night, is now extended for next 12 days. The authorities are constantly monitoring the entire situation.

The move came after the detection of ten new covid cases in New South Wales on Tuesday, thus, bringing the total number of cases to 21 pertaining to the Bondi cluster.

The NZ health officials have issued an advisory for those who had travelled to Sydney's Bondi mall and are now in New Zealand to self-isolate themselves and undergo testing.

Source: Copyright © 2021 Kalkine Media

Resumption of travel bubble with Victoria

The suspension of travel between NZ and NSW came with the former announcing restart of the travel bubble with Victoria.

Recommended Read: Why Did New Zealand adjourn travel bubble with Victoria?

Quarantine free travel was resumed with the state of Victoria as the virus risk exposure is now assumed to be low.

In the past week, no new cases pertaining to the Delta variant have been detected, and the health authorities have assured of no community transmission.

Future of NZ- Aussie travel bubble

Overall, the restart of the travel bubble between the two countries has brought hopes and optimism among its people as well as their economies.

The move was welcomed by Air New Zealand, which called back its 300 employees for the trans-Tasman flights.

It is noted that during pre-Covid times, Australians contributed the maximum to NZ tourism, with Air NZ only bringing around 400,000 Aussies per year to the Kiwi nation.

Don’t Miss: New Zealand on guard, asks Melbourne arrivals to undergo COVID-19 testing

However, this travel bubble often gets interrupted with the detection of Covid cases in either of the two countries.

Read: NZ-WA flights put on hold after COVID-19 outbreak in Perth

Nonetheless, the authorities admit that in current times they do expect the emergence of few cases connected to their borders and are well prepared to handle such situations.

Must See: Is NZ Tourism Industry Ready For The Influx Of Tourists Post The Commencement Of TransTasman Bubble?

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