Our hopes of being able to jet across to the land of the long white cloud have been dashed again today, with the New Zealand Prime Minister declaring she’s still not ready to open the trans-Tasman bubble.
Despite mounting speculation that New Zealand may have been ready to commit to the travel bubble, in which Australia has been partaking in one-way for months, today’s highly anticipated announcement did not go her way.
Kiwis have been able to come to Australia on and off over the last six months without quarantining, but New Zealand is yet to reciprocate.
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Jacinda Arden says that while quarantine-free travel is a priority for New Zealand, there are still assurances that her government just can’t give to New Zealanders just yet.
“We know what it would mean for people but we also know that many New Zealanders are nervous,” Ms Ardern said.
“We were unable to offer that certainty – we are unable to offer that certainty before we make any final decision.”
It’s understood those assurances include appropriate contact-tracing services of Australian travellers, costings of quarantine facilities if required, appropriate regulatory mechanisms and plans for airports and airlines.
The Prime Minister has instead postponed her government’s announcement for a commencement date to April 6.
In a glimmer of hope for those wanting to dash across the ditch as soon as possible, it does appear that Air New Zealand is taking bookings for international flights from April 19.
However, we won’t know for sure whether or not Australians can travel there until April 6.