COVID-19: Trans Tasman Bubble Announcement? – have to wait until 6 April
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced today at a post Cabinet meeting press conference that the date for commencement of a mutual Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble will be on 6 April.
“It’s more complex for New Zealand than it is for Australia . . . The change in approach isn’t without risk. We may have scenarios where travel is temporarily halted one-way with travellers getting temporarily stranded.”Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister
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New Zealand’s closure to international travellers is affecting its travel industry dramatically, so they are naturally keen to start some kind of tourism with Australia – a low COVID-19 transmission country – as soon as possible.
In an interview on TVNZ, Ardern described initial negotiations were aimed at a country-to-country trans-Tasman agreement, but this was proving too difficult – given that Australian states kept opening and closing borders depending on outbreaks.
It is predicted that Ardern will pursue a state-by-state schedule for the trans-Tasman bubble.
Given that New South Wales has had the least reactive policy on border closures, I suspect flights between NZ – probably Auckland and Sydney, will be the first scheduled – as soon as the end of April is the prediction.
Air New Zealand has previously announced it will commence direct Auckland to Tasmania flights as soon as a bubble is in place. I presume it is targetting Hobart, as it has the incoming capacity, and essentially no cases of COVID-19. Maybe Tasmania will be the first-cab-off-the-rank for the bubble?
My finger is poised on the booking button! Auckland Park Hyatt here I come.