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Travel Between Australia And New Zealand Could Resume From 1 July

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Travel Between Australia And New Zealand Could Resume From 1 July

Considering many people have been cooped up in their homes for weeks, it's understandable that some are keen to get out of the country as soon as possible.

We've been warned that international travel remains a long way off, even as lockdown eases amid the coronavirus pandemic, but there could be a light at the end of the tunnel.

The Tourism Restart Taskforce has been briefing the Australian government every week to outline when they believe certain things should be allowed to get underway again.

The group has set an 'aspirational' target of launching a 'proof of concept flight' between Australia and New Zealand from 1 July. Below is a list of tourism activities that are either in 'Hibernation', 'Immediate Restart' or requiring a 'Medium/Long Term Recovery'.

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Credit: Australian Chamber of Tourism
Credit: Australian Chamber of Tourism

While this policy still has to be agreed upon by the two countries, if it gets the go-ahead, the flight would carry government officials, media and business representatives. Under the proposal, travellers would not be required to spend 14 days in quarantine.

If the proof of concept flight is deemed a success, more would be scheduled to allow citizens to fly across the ditch for business or pleasure.

John Hart, chair of Australian Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, said: "We are saying that New Zealand travel will commence on July 1 and from 10 September we will consider whether other bubbles can commence.

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"We have done a lot of discussion with the NZ side and they are saying we are good to go."

The test flight would run from Canberra to Wellington and back - something that wasn't done before the pandemic. So, if you're anywhere else you can hold off on unpacking that holiday suitcase.

Wellington. Credit: Ulrich Lange (Creative Commons)
Wellington. Credit: Ulrich Lange (Creative Commons)

Mr Hart continued: "These two cities have had a very low incidence of Covid and several days and weeks with no cases, they are sister cities, capital cities and both hubs of business."

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Airlines might need to change some of their routes depending on rates of Covid-19 infection. Under the proposal, several Pacific Island nations would also be included in this Trans-Tasman bubble.

The timeline released by the Tourism Restart Taskforce suggests that international travel to other 'safe' countries could potentially resume in September.

Again, this is an aspirational target and could very well be shelved if there are second waves of the pandemic to hit Australia or elsewhere.

According to reports on 7News, several departments in Australia and New Zealand are working towards this timeline and we'll just have to wait until an official date is set. But at least we're moving in the right direction.

Featured Image Credit: PA

Topics: New Zealand, covid-19-positive, News, Australia

Stewart Perrie
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