New Zealand agrees on ‘travel bubble’ with Australia early next year

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PM Jacinda Ardern on the phone to the Queen.

Australia's Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the bubble represented "a glimmer of hope" in what had been a tough year for the tourism industry.

She said the government planned to name a date for the travel bubble next year.

So what could be the hold up in creating a New Zealand Australian travel bubble?

Ardern and her partner Clarke Gayford met the Queen in April, 2018.

Free travel across the Tasman could commence as soon as next month, as New Zealand looks to begin easing its hard borders.

"As important as having clear plans on the event of an outbreak in either country that may see borders close and potentially thousands of New Zealanders seeking to return who may need to go into isolation". Both countries nearly entirely closed their borders to foreigners in March, and both countries require citizens returning from overseas to undergo a 14-day quarantine in a state facility at their own cost.

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It also has an agreement with Moderna for enough vaccine doses to cover 25 million people starting in the first half of next year. The FDA, which hosted the briefing, balked at questions regarding whether someone who is pregnant should receive the vaccine.

What do you think about travel bubbles like the one being proposed between New Zealand and Australia?

Cook Islands is a Pacific Island around 2,000 miles - or around a four hour flight - from Auckland, New Zealand.

"The airlines themselves need a bit of time to prepare to make sure they have sufficient planes and crew to fly the routes we're talking about, both with the trans-Tasman and the Cook Islands".

"Of course we want to progress on these issues including quarantine-free travel but we haven't taken risks before as that means New Zealanders won't be able to keep their freedom and I certainly don't want to take those risks right now", Ms Ardern said. Please tell us what you think in the comments.

The Morrison government has previously indicated similar travel bubbles could be set up with countries such as Singapore, South Korea and Japan.

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