Australia and New Zealand to Form Travel Bubble in 2021

Details still need to be ironed out, but the bubble could be implemented early next year

masked man holding suitcases in airport
A passenger wearing a face mask arriving at Sydney's Kingsford Smith Airport after flying from New Zealand on October 16, 2020.
James D. Morgan/Getty Images

International travel is still a long way away for us here in the States, but in other parts of the world where they’ve managed to curb the spread of COVID-19, there’s a sign that things are beginning to return to normal. As The Independent reports, Australia and New Zealand will form a travel bubble sometime in the first quarter of 2021.

There’s already currently a “one-way bubble” in place between the two nations, meaning those traveling into Australia from New Zealand are allowed to do so without quarantining, but travelers returning to New Zealand from Australia must quarantine for 14 days upon their arrival. But New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed at a press conference recently that her country has agreed to a two-way bubble “in principle.”

“It is our intention to name a date … in the new year, once remaining details are locked down,” she said.

The Australian Cabinet will need to sign off on the proposal as well, and as The Independent notes, “No firm dates have been set yet as there are still several key details to be ironed out, including how quarantine and repatriation flights might work if there is an outbreak in either country and borders need to be closed again.”


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