If you, like us, have been waiting all year for news of when overseas travel restrictions would lift, you’re going to want to hear this.
While we initially thought that international travel to New Zealand and the Pacific, aka the Australia/New Zealand travel bubble, was likely to re-open back in July (LOL), we finally have some positive news to report.
New Zealand Prime Minister and all round queen Jacinda Ardern has just confirmed that a travel bubble with Australia will open in the first quarter of 2021. Praise be!
Speaking at the final post-Cabinet press conference of the year, PM Ardern revealed the Cabinet has agreed to establish quarantine-free travel between the two countries saying, "It is our intention to name a date... in the New Year, once remaining details are locked down."
Prime Minister Ardern added that the bubble would be contingent on case numbers in Australia, with a benchmark of 28 days without community transmission one of the requirements of the bubble staying open.
While this would also require approval from the Morrison government, Australian Health Minister Greg Hunt told the press that it was very likely the bubble would go ahead.
"This is very simple because we already have committed to the principle of a two-way bubble," says Hunt. "We have established it as a one-way bubble where those coming from New Zealand on the medical advice of the Chief Medical Officer could come safely without quarantine."
"Now, this gives the chance for New Zealanders or Australians to visit New Zealand, whether it is for friends, family, weddings, funerals, births, holidays, business, without having to quarantine. It is the first step on a return to international normality."
This good news comes after Queensland's decision last week to open its border to New Zealanders, with no quarantine period required—all other states had already opened their borders to Kiwis (although WA still requires14 days in quarantine).
Bring on 2021 we say!
We’ll keep you updated here with more trans-tasman travel news as it drops.
To kickstart that wanderlust, here are a bunch of stunning places you had no idea were in New Zealand.
Image credit: Nils Nedel