New Zealand travel bubble with Australia coming in early 2021, NZ PM confirms

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has confirmed a travel bubble with Australia will open in the first quarter of 2021.

Speaking at the final post-cabinet press conference of the year, Ardern said Cabinet had agreed in principle to establish quarantine-free travel between the two countries, though would not give a date for the earliest it could be in place.

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.Credit:Getty Images

"It is our intention to name a date… in the New Year, once remaining details are locked down," Ardern said on Monday.

Ardern said the opening of the bubble was contingent on Australia’s cabinet signing it off, and the COVID-19 situation in both counties remaining as it is now.

New Zealand COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said he would be visiting Auckland Airport on Tuesday to look at how those travelling as part of the bubble would be able to remain separated from other travellers.

Kiwis have been able to travel to Australia without having to quarantine on arrival since October 16, when the Australian government established a “safe travel zone” with New Zealand.

However, this arrangement was only one-way, with passengers returning to New Zealand from Australia still having to complete 14 days of managed isolation on their return.

More to come

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