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Australia and New Zealand’s burgeoning travel bubble saw a new destination added this week when a plane bound for Brisbane departed from Auckland on Thursday, January 7th.

Travel bubbles have been a hot topic in the world of travel since the pandemic began. As countries start to turn the tide on the spread of the virus, governments are widening their searches for safe places to travel in order to give the travel and tourism industries a much-needed boost. Here’s further information about the travel bubble, and what it might mean for travel in the future.

Air New Zealand Boeing 777 Commercial Airliner in Flight

The New Zealand-Australia Travel Bubble – Information for Travelers

The travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia allows travelers to make the trip from New Zealand to one of Australia’s Safe Travel Zones without the need to quarantine upon arrival. As it stands, there are three such zones that this applies to – Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane, with Brisbane being the most recent addition to the bubble.

Brisbane Skyline Night Panorama, Australia

Not all flights are quarantine-free, with only specific departures cutting out the need to quarantine. To be eligible for the quarantine-free flight, you must have a valid visa for entry to Australia. You must also have been in New Zealand for the past 14 days without having been in a designated foreign hotspot. Flights are open to all nationalities who meet the entry criteria, and regular flights that require quarantine upon arrival in Australia are still available.

New Zealand: Queenstown Airport (ZQN)

New Zealand’s new route to Brisbane will see Air New Zealand operate five flights to Brisbane a week, three of which will be quarantine-free and the other two flight that will require quarantine once in Australia. The quarantine-free arrangement is only in place for the first leg of the journey. Those who return to New Zealand following their time in Australia must quarantine for a period of 14 days.

Melbourne Mask skyline

Travel Bubbles – A Lifeline For Travelers?

With the prospect of quarantining upon arrival at your destination, current options have proven to be unappealing for travelers. However, bubbles where travelers can travel more smoothly without the need to quarantine could see the travel industry revitalized.

sydney opera house australia

There are currently several travel bubble – also sometimes referred to as travel corridor – arrangements in operation around the world. Countries such as Singapore have agreements with several countries that can see selected travelers make the trip without the need to quarantine, whilst the UK has a travel corridor with several countries around the world.

However, several regions have attempted to establish travel bubbles, only to see them fail as the situation worsens in one of the countries involved in the arrangement. Singapore saw its travel bubble with Hong Kong cancelled a day before it was due to start due to a surge in cases in Hong Kong.

Singapore Reopening Borders For Tourism Sept 1 From Select Countries

Why Australia and New Zealand

Australia and New Zealand have been able to establish the travel bubble due to their success in fighting the spread of the virus. New Zealand currently has no active cases in the community, with only 62 cases caught at the border currently in managed facilities. Australia has only seen 49 locally-transmitted cases in the past week. Both countries have been strict and pro-active with their approach to managing the pandemic; Brisbane has just entered a three-day lockdown following the discovery of a single case.  

new zealand traveler

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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling.  Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories



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