The New Zealand government intends to create a travel bubble with Australia in the first quarter of next year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Monday.
The arrangement would allow people to travel freely between Australia and New Zealand without the need to quarantine for two weeks on arrival. Passengers arriving from New Zealand are already exempt from quarantine requirements in Australia.
The travel bubble was “pending confirmation” from Australian officials, Ms Ardern told a press conference, and would depend on “the absence of any significant change in the circumstances of either. other country”.
New Zealand, which has a population of around five million, has managed to avert the worst of the pandemic, with 2,096 cases and 25 lives lost, according to a New York Times database. In Australia, which has a population of around 25.5 million, 28,031 people have tested positive for the coronavirus, while 908 have died.