Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Economy

Families reunite as Australia–New Zealand ‘travel bubble’ begins

SYDNEY — Hundreds of passengers from Australia began arriving in New Zealand airports on Monday after authorities reopened borders, a pandemic milestone that allows quarantine-free travel between the countries for the first time in over a year.

Though most Australian states have allowed quarantine-free visits from New Zealand residents since late last year, New Zealand had enforced isolation for arrivals from its neighbor, citing concerns about sporadic virus outbreaks there.

Television footage showed emotional scenes at the airports with families reuniting and scores of passengers thronging the international departure terminals at Australian airports.

“It is the first time in 400 days that people can travel quarantine-free and we are adding 16 return flights a day to New Zealand, and they are full,” Qantas Chief Executive Alan Joyce told the Australian Broadcasting Corp on Monday.

Qantas will ramp up flights between the countries to about 200 each week, while Air New Zealand said it had quadrupled its flights to 30 on Monday, with its airplanes flying into New Zealand 97% full.

The open border will help drive the economic recovery for both countries and reunite thousands with families and friends, Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison and New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a joint statement.

“It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia. Be it returning family, friends, or holiday-makers, New Zealand says, ‘Welcome and enjoy yourself,’” Ms. Ardern said.

About 1.5 million Australians visited New Zealand in 2019, the year before the pandemic closed international borders, making up about 40% of all visitors, spending NZ$2.7 billion ($1.93 billion) in the country, official data showed.

More than half a million New Zealand-born people live in Australia, just over 2% of Australia’s population of near 26 million.

Both Australia and New Zealand had largely closed their borders to non-citizens and permanent residents more than a year ago, helping to keep their coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) numbers relatively low compared with several other developed countries.

Other international arrivals into both countries must go through a two-week hotel quarantine at their own expense.

Australia has recorded just over 29,500 virus cases and 910 deaths since the pandemic began, while New Zealand has had just over 2,200 confirmed cases and 26 deaths.

Mr. Morrison and Ms. Ardern warned travelers to prepare for disruptions to travel arrangements at short notice in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks, and said the risks of quarantine-free travel will be under “constant review.”

Both leaders also flagged the possibility of extending quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific region when “it is safe to do so.” — Renju Jose/Reuters

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get the daily email that makes reading the news actually enjoyable. Stay informed and entertained, for free.
Your information is secure and your privacy is protected. By opting in you agree to receive emails from us. Remember that you can opt-out any time, we hate spam too!

Latest

Investing

Virgin Orbit’s next satellite launch will take place from the UK, following the success of the “Straight Up” mission, which lifted off from Mojave...

Investing

Post Office collection and cash delivery workers are to stage a one-day strike later this month in a dispute over pay. Members of the...

Investing

UK consumers cut back on credit card borrowing in May amid fears over rising interest rates and a slowing economy driven by a cost...

Investing

London City airport is seeking to overturn its Saturday flight ban and raise by 40% the limit on its passenger numbers. A local residents’...

Investing

The bank said that it was introducing a £1,200-a-year pay increase from August 1, which would start to show in next month’s pay packets....

Investing

Postmasters caught up in the Horizon IT scandal say that they are still being “left in the dark” about a compensation package after the...

You May Also Like

Investing

Having a good Instagram marketing agency to back up your Instagram account is an absolute must going into the new year. With competition stronger...

Economy

Ivermectin, an existing drug against parasites including head lice, has had a checkered history when it comes to treating COVID-19. The bulk of studies...

Investing

Insomnia is the most common sleep disorder in the global population. Therefore, it is a problem that many people suffer or have suffered throughout...

Investing

As a traditionally rigid insurance industry becomes bogged down by antiquated processes and operations, a handful of industry leaders are seeking to shake things...

Disclaimer: SmartRetirementReport.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively "The Company") do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

Copyright © 2021 SmartRetirementReport. All Rights Reserved.