Quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand is set to begin on April 19, revealed New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern during a news conference on April 6.
Arden said that conditions for starting the quarantine-free travel have been met, but cautioned people that they need to be prepared to have their travel plans changed at short notice, including landing and going into hotel quarantine.
Ardern also outlined three responses if a case was detected in Australia: continue, pause or suspend the bubble.
She said that if there was a case linked to a quarantine or border worker who was contained quickly, it would be likely that the bubble would continue.
A pause might be put in place if there was a localised outbreak that led to a short lockdown, like the recent one in Brisbane.
But if there are a number of community cases with an unknown source then the NZ government will suspend the bubble temporarily.
The travel bubble would restrict travellers from certain areas in the event of an outbreak in Australia and is expected to run on a state-by-state basis.
Several Australian states have opened their borders to New Zealanders since last October, but it has been a one-way arrangement due to sporadic outbreaks in other Australian cities.
Since the pandemic began, Australia has recorded about 29,400 Covid-19 cases and 909 deaths, while New Zealand has had just over 2,100 confirmed cases and 26 deaths.