New Zealand has announced it will open a long-awaited travel bubble with Australia, allowing quarantine-free travel between neighbors.
The country’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the program would start on April 19, after health officials decided there was little risk of importing Covid-19 from Australia.
The two countries have managed to avoid major outbreaks seen elsewhere, adopting strict quarantine restrictions to keep the coronavirus out, then imposing tight lockdowns to cancel any outbreaks that may have occurred.
“The bubble will boost our economic recovery and represent a leading arrangement to safely open international travel while pursuing a strategy of elimination and containment of the virus,” Ms. Ardern said.
Australia had previously allowed New Zealanders to arrive without going into quarantine, but New Zealand had taken a more cautious approach, requiring Australian travelers to spend two weeks in quarantine upon arrival.
Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister, said: “The fact that we can now combine again will mean jobs, it will mean people coming together, it will mean lots of opportunities as these normal relations are restored between Australia and New Zealand. Zealand. “