Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has attributed the establishment of a quarantine-free two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand to each country’s success in managing the CCP virus pandemic.
“This latest major step in the resumption of international travel has only been possible due to the internationally recognised, world-leading responses to the COVID-19 pandemic by Australia and New Zealand,” Morrison said in a statement on April 6.
Morrison told reporters that both countries had not suffered the same types of virus impacts seen in other parts of the world.
“The fact that we now can combine again will mean jobs; it will mean people reunited,” he said. “It will mean many opportunities as those normal relations are restored between Australia and New Zealand.”
The two-way Safe Travel Zone between the two countries follows Australia opening a one-way bubble six months ago, with more than 34,000 arrivals into Australia from New Zealand during that period, Morrison said.
The quarantine-free travel will begin on April 19, but New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned travellers to be prepared for disruptions caused by outbreaks of COVID-19, the disease caused by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus.
“Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware,” she said. “People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.”
Officials in both countries will now work closely together to manage outbreaks. Ardern explained that there will be a “continue, pause, suspend” framework when it comes to regional outbreaks.
Rather than suspend all international flights, should a localised outbreak occur, flights to that Australian state may be paused or suspended depending on the risk, she said.
Morrison said, “Should temporary restrictions need to be applied due to a COVID-19 outbreak, both countries will provide as much notice as possible to Government agencies, passengers, airlines and airport operators affected by any such measures.”