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Australia and New Zealand’s travel bubble begins on 18 April

(CNN) – New Zealand will allow Australians to travel to the country without quarantine, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said at a news conference on Tuesday, April 6.

The travel bubble is set to begin on Sunday, April 18 at 23:59, Ardern added. Australia has allowed New Zealand travelers to enter without quarantine, and New Zealand is now following suit.

“This is an important step forward in our Covid response and represents a system that I do not think we have seen in any other part of the world. That is, to open an international journey to another country while we continue follows an elimination strategy and a commitment to keep the virus out, ”Ardern said during the event.

Under the new rules, travelers are not allowed to travel if they had had a positive Covid-1

9 test in the previous 14 days or had flu-like symptoms. The Prime Minister also said that travel “will not be what it was before covid”, explaining that flights could be suspended again in the event of a new outbreak, or travelers could be asked to take a PCR test or quarantine on arrival , depending on the nature and origin of the infection.

Ardern also said travelers coming from Australia will board “green zone” flights.

“That means there will be no passengers on the flight that has come anywhere but Australia in the last 14 days,” Ardern said, adding that the crews operating the connection “have not flown on any high-risk routes in a specific period. “

“[This] travel bubble represents the start of a new chapter in our covide response and recovery, one that people have worked so hard on. That makes New Zealand and Australia relatively unique. I know family, friends and important parts of our economy will welcome it, as I know I certainly do, “Ardern said.

The long-awaited “trans-Tasman bubble” has had its ups and downs. The plan was first floated in October 2020, but then became a one-way bubble when another wave of cases hit Australia, meaning New Zealanders could mostly travel to Australia without problems but the Aussies could not go to New Zealand.

And it’s not the only “bubble” in the Asia-Pacific region that either jumped out or was exposed in the midst of the ever-changing pandemic situation.

Meanwhile, Fiji announced its goal of creating a “bula bubble” with other countries in the region, including both Australia and New Zealand, but the idea has not yet come from the ground floor.
A bubble between Hong Kong and Singapore was due to begin in November, but was canceled just 24 hours before the first flights due to a slight increase in cases in Hong Kong.

New Zealand’s hard work to contain the virus seems to have paid off. The country recorded only 2,524 cases and 26 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.

CNN’s Lilit Marcus contributed reporting.

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