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Coronavirus

New Zealand Plans to Open a Travel Bubble with Australia Soon

December 14, 2020

WELLINGTON, New Zealand — New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the country plans to open a travel bubble with Australia in the first quarter of next year.

That would mean people traveling from Australia to New Zealand would no longer need to go into quarantine for two weeks upon arrival. Australia is already letting New Zealanders skip quarantine.

The announcement Monday comes two days after New Zealand said it planned a similar bubble with the Cook Islands. The two arrangements would represent the first travel bubbles that New Zealand has agreed to since closing its borders when the coronavirus first hit earlier this year.

New Zealand has moved cautiously on restarting international travel after stamping out community spread of the virus. Ardern says there are some remaining logistical issues to overcome, including how it would deal with a large influx of returning travelers in the case of another significant outbreak in Australia.

The announcement comes as some relief to families separated by the virus and to tourism operators, many of whom rely on visitors from Australia.

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