Trans-Tasman travel bubble expected to start April 19

April 06, 2021
Air New Zealand
An Air New Zealand A320neo. Photo: Air NZ.

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden is expected to announce that the Trans-Tasman travel bubble will kick off on April 19.

The announcement is due at 2 pm Sydney time and 4 pm Auckland time.

University of Otago professor Michael Baker told RNZ that he believed the government would ensure the right conditions and controls were in place before opening the border.

“Everything about managing Covid-19 is about calculated risk. I do think now we are ready to open up to Australia for quarantine-free travel.”

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He said the challenge for Aotearoa (New Zealand) and Australia was managing the risk of importing the virus from red-zone countries. “That is what we need to be focusing on at this point,” he told RNZ.

A trans-Tasman bubble would demonstrate to other countries what can be achieved through an effective elimination strategy, he said.

Professor Baker told RNZ that Aotearoa, Australia, and Pacific Island nations had successfully contained and eliminated the virus and provided a good model for other nations. “Establishing a workable, quarantine-free zone with other neighboring countries is a great international model.”

Air New Zealand has spilled the date of April 19, because it has loaded a great deal more services into its reservation system from that date.

On that date, it is 23 return services to Sydney a week compared to the “normal 4 a week “at the moment.”

The airline’s Perth to Auckland service also returns from April 19 with four a week increasing to six a week from April the 28th.

The roll-out of the travel bubble has had several false starts after being mooted since July last year.

It is also unclear if every Australian state will be involved and what tests will be required.

Currently to enter New Zealand passengers are required to have a COVID-19 test.

International terminals will have to separate arrivals from NZ from passengers from other countries.