Australia and New Zealand agree on travel bubble deal

 

AUSTRALIA and New Zealand will create a limited travel bubble after final details were hammered out this morning.

The Courier-Mail has confirmed a deal has been sealed with Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack and the bubble will operate from October 16.

It will only operate one-way initially, meaning New Zealanders will be able to travel to Australia without having to quarantine on arrival but Australians will not be able to travel to New Zealand.

Mr McCormack said initially New Zealanders from eligible parts of the country would be able to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory.

 

He said under the first stage quarantine-free travel would be allowed from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from October 16.

"This will allow New Zealanders and other residents in New Zealand who have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hot spot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days to travel quarantine free to Australia," he said.

He said only states or territories that were using the national expert medical panel's hot-spot definition could be in the bubble.

The hot spot definition determining travel from New Zealand will be three days of less than three cases.

Mr McCormack said this was the "first stage" of the bubble but could be extended.

Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 plane, logo on tail.
NZ / Aviation / Aircraft / Airline
Air New Zealand Boeing 747-400 plane, logo on tail. NZ / Aviation / Aircraft / Airline

"We want to open up Australia to the world," he said.

"This is the first part of it. We want to make sure that we get as many Australians home, we want to make sure that we get as many visitors."

He said Foreign Minister Marise Payne was working with many of the Pacific Islands on possible travel arrangements.

"We will wait and see how this unfolds, we will wait and see the success of this and I am sure that it will be a success before we start defining and determining which will be the next country and of course those discussions are taking place," he said.

The bubble will also free up about 325 more places each week for Australians stranded overseas to return via Sydney.

Mr McCormack said if Queensland entered the bubble it would free up another 250 weekly quarantine places for Australians to return from overseas.

Mr Morrison has previously foreshadowed that the bubble would only include states with open borders such as New South Wales and South Australia.

Originally published as It's official: NZ travel bubble deal sealed



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