Travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia has started, but it will only be one-sided for now
The travel corridor between Australia and New Zealand has started since Friday, October 16, but it will only be one way at first. People from New Zealand will be able to visit Australia, but it will only include a limited number of destinations - that is New South Wales and the Northern Territory.
Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack said that people who hadn't been in a coronavirus hotspot in New Zealand for the previous two weeks would be allowed in with no quarantine, but for anyone else there will still be the 14 days mandatory quarantine.
He commented: "This is the first stage in what we hope to see as a trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries, not just that state and that territory. I've just got off the phone from (Northern Territory) Chief Minister (Michael) Gunner, who says the fish are biting and the beers are cold. And he wants to see as many of his New Zealand cousins and friends as possible."
However, according to New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, those going to Australia will still have to quarantine on their return.
"We will not open the borders for quarantine-free travel with Australia until it is safe to do so because doing it too early risks losing all of the freedoms that we already have in our economy," she announced.
New Zealand is in fact one of the lowest coronavirus infected countries in the world with only 1,848 cases, while Australia has reported 27,371 cases, including a particularly violent outbreak in the city of Melbourne.
She added in a joint statement with Australian prime minister Scott Morrison: "We need to be cautious as we progress this initiative. Neither country wants to see the virus rebound so it's essential any such travel zone is safe. Relaxing travel restrictions at an appropriate time will clearly benefit both countries and demonstrates why getting on top of the virus early is the best strategy for economic recovery."