COVID-19: Trans-Tasman ‘Bubble’ approved in principle by New Zealand
The Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a press conference today that her government is looking at allowing free travel between the Australia and New Zealand in the first quarter next year.
She has now confirmed that a travel bubble is being negotiated to open with Australia in the 1st quarter of 2021, pending the Australian government signing off, and that there are no COVID-19 outbreaks.
Well its ‘first quarter’, so as ET says – by March 2021
Ms Ardern announced yesterday the first mutual travel ‘bubble’ between New Zealand and the Cook Islands.
“If there is an outbreak in Australia — and there have been several — we’d have to arrange to bring thousands of New Zealander’s back to the country through managed isolation.”Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
There are also the logistics of keeping ‘bubble’ travellers and airline crew separate from other international tourists at arrival airports in New Zealand, so they can tell who is mandated to head to quarantine, and who is free to travel on outside without completing quarantine. Ardern noted that these challenges were not insurmountable.
A group known as the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group – is already touting a blueprint on how to do it successfully. The group comprises various agencies from both governments as well as health professionals, and representatives from Airports, Qantas and Air New Zealand.
Virgin Australia also has some skin in the game, as their 737-800’s are perfectly capable of making the jump across the ‘dutch’, and New Zealand has been talked about as a candidate for their return to ‘International’ travel.
Remembering that you can cancel and rebook any fares through to the end of February 2022, this offer is worth booking some speculative travel.
I usually value status credits over points, but triple points is a good deal. Anyway if a good bonus status credits deal comes up – I can always cancel my triple points booking and rebook using the credit to gain the the status deal. Sorry guys, you can’t combine deals.
Qantas didn’t come down in the last shower, so don’t expect this triple points deal to be giving you the best fare prices (I haven’t checked this), and the same applies to those double status points offers if they return. I have no inside knowledge, but a triple points offer, often comes just before a double status credits offer. Just sayin’.
BRING IT ON!
I just want to be able to use my passport. And, as anyone who’s been, knows, New Zealand is just beautiful, even without those little Hobbits.