Australia and New Zealand to extend their travel bubble


Australia and New Zealand have finally agreed on the new one-way travel bubble that allows New Zealanders to bypass the 14-day mandatory quarantine and head straight out to spend their summer days in Queensland.

As of yet, both countries have agreed on travel bubbles to Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane given the current low rates of coronavirus infection.

Gert-Jan de Graaff, Brisbane Airport CEO, stated that this an important step toward normality after so many months of reduced activity. Back in 2019, the city saw more than 1.5 million passengers on over 100 flights. 

“I am very confident that these safe travel zone flights between Queensland and New Zealand will be a success,” said De Graaff.

Air New Zealand is set to operate 3 quarantine-free flights per week. These passengers are compelled to observe a 14-day mandatory quarantine when returning home considering that the travel bubble only works one way.

Travel bubbles became popular months after the world was shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Governments can close their countries but negotiate exclusive agreements with their most important country-partners to have their nationals transit freely.

That has been the case of Australia and New Zealand, whose capacity to fight the spread of the virus has allowed them to start a few travel bubbles.

As of today, New Zealand has managed to squash the transmission curve by completely shutting down its borders.

The country remains closed to travelers other than returning nationals, residents, or their spouses/children. There are very few exceptions.

Unsurprisingly, their daily rates of new cases fluctuate only between 0-5. They have had 2,188 confirmed cases and 25 deaths in total.

For its part, Australia initially saw a drastic increase in their epidemiologic figures and its government acted promptly to reduce it.

Among the strict measures were airport shutdowns, inter-city travel restrictions and lengthy quarantines for new arrivals.

Their figures have improved since. To date, they have reported 28.583 cases and 909 deaths.

However, earlier today authorities have identified a single patient with the U.K. strain, which is concerning to the nation.