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Australians to travel to New Zealand ‘by end of year’

Published: (Updated: ) in Australian News by .

The much-anticipated travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand could be on the cards within weeks as COVID-19 cases continue to decline in NSW.

The much-anticipated travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand could be on the cards within weeks as COVID-19 cases continue to decline in NSW.

The travel bubble between the sister countries was first proposed in April when the first wave of COVID-19 cases began to fall, but Australia's internal border battles halted any decisions.

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It was then officially discussed in May but coincided with Melbourne's second wave of the pandemic.

The idea re-emerged at last Friday's National Cabinet meeting when Prime Minister Scott Morrison suggested the formation of a travel bubble, but with a few amendments from original discussions.

Mr Morrison suggested the trans-Tasman bubble could successfully operate between regions with no known COVID-19 outbreaks.

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Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham told Nine's Today Show this morning that he hoped Australians would be able to travel freely and safely to New Zealand by the end of the year.

"We're working hard to make sure every safety precaution and measure is in place through our airports, our border protections, screening processes, to make sure people can travel safely between Australia and New Zealand without risk of encountering other air travellers that may be coming in from higher risk countries," Mr Birmingham said.

Unfortunately for now, travel will initially be one way for New Zealanders to come to Australia.

New Zealanders would not have to quarantine when arriving in Australia, but travel would only be permitted for residents of the south island, as the north island has a small cluster emerging.

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The general criteria for quarantine-free travel is 28 days with no community transmission.

Qantas aircraft on tarmac and Jetstar plane flying in the background

"Ultimately, whether New Zealand opens up to Australia will be a matter for New Zealand, but we are working to make sure we're ready and hopefully we can see those steps taken this year," Mr Birmingham said.

Travel bodies hope Australians will be able to visit New Zealand before Christmas.

You can get up-to-date information from the Federal Government's Coronavirus Australia app, available on the App Store, Google Play and the Government's WhatsApp channel.

Beyond Blue's Coronavirus Mental Wellbeing Support Service is a 24/7 service free of charge to all Australians. Visit the site here or call 1800512348.

For coronavirus breaking news alerts and livestreams straight to your smartphone s

Source: 9News https://www.9news.com.au/national/coronavirus-trans-tasman-travel-bubble-between-new-zealand-nsw-australia/b954db4a-c79d-4056-83f0-81c1523e4373

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