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COVID-19: Trans Tasman Bubble Announcement? – have to wait until 6 April

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

Background

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.

Prediction

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?

2PAXfly Takeout

My finger is poised on the booking button! Auckland Park Hyatt here I come.

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