A gang of Australian tourism industry organisations wants to introduce a partial trans-Tasman travel bubble from November – and hopes Aussies will be permitted into New Zealand without quarantining from January 2021.
The Australian reports a gaggle of business heavyweights, including the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) and Flight Centre, would like Kiwis and returning Aussies to enter Australia without restrictions in just over a month’s time.
Speaking to the paper, ACCI tourism chief John Hart said that move would introduce the long-awaited travel bubble, which the group sees as a viable way for Australia to (slowly!) open for tourism amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Hart said allowing Kiwis into Australia first could sweeten the deal with New Zealand, and voice his hopes that New Zealand would eventually be “happy” for Aussies to visit after a couple of months of travel the other way.
As for Australians who desperately want to cross the ditch: the group wants Australians to enter New Zealand without first spending two weeks in hotel quarantine in either January or February.
Of course, all of this is up in the air. The industry group’s first plan to open the trans-Tasman bubble in July was shot to pieces when Victoria experienced its second wave of coronavirus cases.
Although new case numbers are falling in the state, and New Zealand’s valiant efforts against the bastard virus, we all know the situation is tenuous.
That said, government officials on either side are working pretty hard on getting this one done, and done correctly.
Speaking to Kiwi broadcaster TVNZ on Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said it’s “possible” that NZ citizens will be allowed to travel to Australia before Christmas.
New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern raised hopes for a travel bubble between New Zealand and some states of Australia before the end of the year https://t.co/yhNlhjyIvT pic.twitter.com/D9qEDXXiuW
— Reuters (@Reuters) September 28, 2020
Yes, yes, a lot of that depends on how Australia implements and officiates its ‘hotspot’ designations, and it relies on Australia continuing its good work to suppress the thing.
But the whole travel thing is fun to think about. A gentle and prospective kia ora to our mates.Image: Peter Amend / Getty Images