Australia and New Zealand open a 'travel bubble'

Australia and New Zealand open a ‘travel bubble’

In front of the check-in booths at Sydney International Airport, on Monday, April 19, Sue Grokot vacillates between laughter and tears. In a few hours, she will land in Auckland and meet her one-year-old grandson for the first time. Australia and New Zealand, whose international borders have been closed since March 2020, in the same morning opened a “travel bubble” that allows residents of the two countries to travel to either side of the country. Tasman Sea without convincing grounds or stone hotel. “The Beginning of a New Chapter in Our Response to Covid-19 and for Our Recovery”On April 6, you received the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern.

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The two neighbors who have adopted a zero-tolerance strategy for SARS-CoV-2 have succeeded in stemming the spread of the virus on their soil and returning to normal life – without masks and with very few physical distancing measures – but at an unprecedented cost of isolation. For more than a year, their borders have been closed to non-resident foreigners and anyone who arrives on their lands is subject to mandatory and paid quarantine at the hotel.

Moreover, in Australia, citizens can only leave their country when there are substantial grounds for it, after obtaining an exemption from the authorities. Since October 2020, Canberra has opened its territories to the New Zealanders, but the reverse was not true, and Wellington maintained two weeks of procedures for the return of “Kiwi” to the archipelago after residing on the island – the continent.

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Re-launch tourism in New Zealand

After repeatedly dismissing the prospect of a health corridor, the New Zealand government finally ruled in early April The danger [était] As low as possible. Now citizens of both countries can move freely and without prior testing. But this “bubble” could be suspended immediately if cases of unknown origin are detected on both sides of the Tasman Sea.

Hundreds of people gathered at Sydney Airport on Monday. “I will finally be able to find my daughter. We are all part of the same large family. I would never have imagined that the border between our two countries would be closed one day.”Retired, says Diana. Australian Airlines, Qantas and Jetstar hope to operate up to 122 flights per week. Air New Zealand up to 300.

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