(CNN) – New Zealand It agreed in principle to create a long-awaited travel bubble with neighboring Australia – though there is no firm date on when the corridor will start.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on December 14 that a travel bubble can be expected in the first quarter of next year, which means that people can travel between the two countries without having to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine at either end.
Since OctoberIn the United States, travelers from New Zealand have been allowed to travel without quarantine to certain Australian destinations, but they will still be required to quarantine upon their return home.
Ardern’s announcement means that the bubble – which has been debated for months and widely expected by people in both countries – will finally allow quarantine travel in both directions.
Australia And New Zealand has some of the strictest border measures in the world. Both countries closed their borders almost completely to foreigners in MarchAnd both countries require citizens returning from abroad to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a government facility at their own expense.
But these strict measures also mean that Australia and New Zealand have been relatively successful in containing the outbreak of the Coronavirus. Australia has reported 28,000 cases of coronavirus, including 908 deaths, while New Zealand has reported 1,740 cases and 25 deaths.
Ardern said the bubble depends on confirmation from the Australian Cabinet, and “there is no significant change in the circumstances of either country.” She said the government plans to set a date for the travel bubble next year.
“I think at the moment, New Zealanders greatly appreciate the government’s approach to ensuring that we do not take unnecessary risks as we enter the summer and summer holidays that New Zealanders so badly need.”
This step is important for tourism – and for those who live far from home.
Although the two countries are separated by about 2,000 kilometers (1,243 mi) from the sea, they have one of the closest bilateral ties in the world.
Australian passport holders can travel and work in New Zealand indefinitely without a visa, and vice versa. appreciate 670,000 New Zealand citizens live in Australia – about 15% of New Zealand’s population – while around 70,000 Australians live in New Zealand. For New Zealanders, it provides more options for tourism outside of domestic destinations, including Chatham IslandsAn archipelago located about 500 miles from the South Island of New Zealand has seen a surge in tourism this year.
Ardern’s announcement comes two days after the country announced plans to start non-quarantine travel with the Cook Islands in the first quarter of next year.
The Cook Islands is an island in the Pacific Ocean about 2,000 miles – or about four hours by plane – from Auckland, New Zealand. It is an autonomous country and freely associates with New Zealand, which means that residents of the Cook Islands have New Zealand passports and are able to work and live in New Zealand – there More than three times The largest population of the Cook Islands living in New Zealand as it is in the Cook Islands themselves.
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