HUGE HUGE HUGE NEWS: The Trans-Tasman bubble will be opening in two weeks’ time, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today. Get packing. Call your loved ones. Get your passport ready. It’s finally happening mates. Kia Ora, indeed.
Quarantine-free travel will commence at 11.59pm on Sunday April 18.
“One sacrifice that has been particularly hard for many to bear over the past year has not been able to see friends and family who live in Australia,” Ardern said.
“Our health response now gives us an opportunity to commit with loved ones again as we start a new chapter in our recovery. Cabinet was presented with advice today that conditions for opening up quarantine-free travel with Australia had been met.”
However, Ardern warned that travel would not be like it was pre-pandemic.
“While we absolutely wish to encourage family and friends to reunite and visitors to come and enjoy the hospitality New Zealand is ready and waiting to offer, those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so you were the guidance of flyer beware,” she said.
“People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.”
Of course, any outbreaks on either end could result in a brief suspension of flights. It’s a pandemic, after all. Passengers will be required to wear masks on flights and no one airline workers who’ve flown on a “high risk route” in the past 14 days will be working on the “green zone” flights.
As a final note, Ardern says she’s chatting to Scott Morrison about a time for him to pop over and visit. To that, I say: are you sure? And wanna keep him?
Anyway, New Zealand is opening up! International travel is back! The vaccine rollout might be a complete and total fuck-up but some good things are happening, baby!