Australia, New Zealand open travel bubble

Australia and New Zealand have agreed to a quarantine-free travel bubble between the two countries from Monday.

Aerial view over the wing of a plane.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison says he is in “no hurry” to further open its international borders. Picture: Joshua_Willson from Pixabay

CAPE TOWN, April 19 (ANA) – Australia and New Zealand have agreed to a quarantine-free travel bubble between the two countries, which opened on Monday.

According to the BBC, the trans-Tasman bubble comes more than a year after New Zealand’s borders were closed due to the global pandemic and both nations contained their Covid-19 outbreaks to keep infection rates low.

In a joint statement by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison, they agreed that the travel bubble will stay intact, provided both countries keep their Covid-19 outbreaks under control.

“It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia. Be it returning family, friends or holidaymakers… New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself,” said Ardern.

The two nations closed their borders in March 2020 and introduced strict quarantine measures for returning nationals.

Australia opened its borders to New Zealand in October to allow their neighbours to enter certain states without quarantine.

The trans-Tasman bubble rules include that travellers spend 14 days in either country before departing and should not have any Covid-19 symptoms.

ABC News, an Australian broadcaster, reported that Morrison was in “no hurry” to further open its international borders and risk the success Australia has had thus far in containing the spread of the virus.

“Australia is in no hurry to open those borders, I assure you,” Morrison said in a televised broadcast.

“There are three million people now who have died from Covid… the pandemic is raging around the world.

“I assure Australians that I will not be putting at risk the way we are living in this country, which is so different to the rest of the world today,” he said.

Morrison added that the management of its borders will be done carefully in partnership with the various states and territories.

– African News Agency (ANA); Editing by Yaron Blecher

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