Quarantine-free New Zealand-Australia travel to start this week

A ferry sails past the Opera House in Sydney Australia

The Australian reported this morning that the bubble was expected to begin next Monday, April 12, or the following Monday, April 19, according to the newspaper's federal government and industry sources.

"The Director-General of Health considers the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from Australia to New Zealand is low and that quarantine free travel is safe to commence", Ms Ardern said.

"Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware", she said.

Given all Australian states except Western Australia are already open to NZ visitors, this will effectively mark the official opening of the much touted trans-Tasman bubble.

New Zealand and Australia are among the top performers in the global battle against the virus - New Zealand has consistently topped Bloomberg's Covid resilience ranking and Australia now lies third.

"For this reason, we have suspended the sale of most New Zealand services until 31 October 2021".

Airlines will need flights for quarantine-free travellers only, who will then need to pass through an airport without mixing with transit passengers or returnees heading for MIQ.

"For instance, if a case is found that is quite clearly linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and is well contained, you'll likely see travel continue in the same way as you could see life continue if that happened here in Australia".

Ms Ardern has said there will be no vaccine requirement when travelling in the trans-Tasman bubble, but some medical checks will be carried out.

She said she spoke with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk regarding the bubble, and also said "dates are being discussed" regarding a visit to New Zealand by Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison.

Qantas, however, is set to ramp up routes between the two countries, in particular between Sydney and Auckland.

There are hopes the travel bubble will somewhat revive Australian global terminals, which have been dead over the past year of the pandemic.

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