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Aus-NZ travel bubble announcement with the fine print

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This virus as a fact of life.  It's here and we have to learn to live productive lives with it - as we do with other diseases and risks.

So it's hardly confidence inspiring to read this warning about the so-called 'travel bubble' with New Zealand:

Travellers will need to be prepared for possible disruption to travel arrangements at short notice and to follow specific protocols before, during and after their travel.

I'd be thinking twice about making plans or investments with that hanging over our heads.

Border closures and lockdowns are political decisions made as the winds of public opinion shift.

And all over a disease that's claimed zero lives in Australia this year and from which 99%++ of people recover without huge drama.

Here's the PM's announcement.

Today, Australia and New Zealand have fulfilled their commitment to establish two-way quarantine free travel, with New Zealand removing the quarantine requirement for eligible travellers from Australia.

Trans-Tasman quarantine free travel is a world-leading arrangement that opens up travel while aiming to keep COVID out of the community.

It reflects the sustained efforts to date of both countries in managing the virus.

Both Prime Ministers are proud of the outstanding success achieved by the people of Australia and New Zealand in responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

This success, and our confidence that both countries have robust processes in place to ensure travel can be undertaken safely, has made quarantine free travel possible.

The travel across the Tasman demonstrates our special relationship and the long history of freedom of movement between Australia and New Zealand.

Fulfilment of our commitment will allow many friends and family across the Tasman to re-unite for the first time in over a year.

Our countries share a Single Economic Market, and two-way travel across the Tasman will help drive the economic recovery for both countries while we continue to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic, especially in the travel and tourism sectors.

It will also enable closer trans-Tasman business engagement, which will drive broader economic activity in both Australia and New Zealand.

“Today’s milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders, boosting our economies while keeping our people safe and just in time for ANZAC Day,” Prime Minister Scott Morrison said.

“Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from COVID and two-way flights are an important step in our road out.”

“It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia. Be it returning family, friends or holiday makers, New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself.” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

“The bubble marks a significant step in both countries reconnection with the world and it’s one we should all take a moment to be very proud of.”

The commencement of two-way travel follows Australia’s decision in October 2020 to allow quarantine free-travel from New Zealand.

Australia and New Zealand are also exploring opportunities to extend quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific, when it is safe to do so, reflecting our close ties to the Pacific and our commitment to supporting their recovery. 

Ensuring the safety of our populations continues to be a primary consideration in managing our borders. In this evolving pandemic, the risks of quarantine-free travel will be under constant review.

Travellers will need to be prepared for possible disruption to travel arrangements at short notice and to follow specific protocols before, during and after their travel. Information for travellers can be found on the Australian Smartravellerwebsite and New Zealand's Unite Against COVID-19 website.

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