Australia anticipates the trans-Tasman travel bubble will kick off in the next few weeks, the country’s trade and tourism minister Dan Tehan told a local radio station.
The news comes hot on the heels of another announcement this week confirming that a Australia-Singapore travel bubble is in the works. Both travel bubble agreements could see quarantine requirements lifted for eligible travellers.
“Our hope is we’ll have a New Zealand bubble open and running properly, a two-way bubble, in the coming weeks, which would be fantastic,” said Tehan in an interview with Melbourne radio station 3AW.
“Obviously, New Zealanders have been able to come here, but there is strong talk that they will create a proper two-way bubble. So, that means we’ll be able to travel to and from New Zealand.”
In October, the country launched a one-way travel bubble, allowing travellers from New Zealand to bypass Australia’s 14-day hotel quarantine. However, to date New Zealand has not extended the same privilege to Australians due to its virus elimination strategy.
The launch timeline has historically proved to be a challenge after countries around the world, including Australia, saw a surge in Covid-19 cases and new variants towards the end of 2020.New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said last December she hoped to kick off the two-way bubble by the end of March.