TNZ left sidebar 29 Mar
TNZ right sidebar 29 Mar

Today: New Zealand Set To Announce Trans-Tasman Bubble Start Date

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will reveal the news we've all been waiting for – the start date for quarantine-free travel for Australians to Aotearoa – today at around 2pm Australia AEST time.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will reveal the news we’ve all been waiting for – the start date for quarantine-free travel for Australians to Aotearoa – today at around 2pm Australia AEST time.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will reveal the start date for quarantine-free travel for Australians to Aotearoa on Tuesday afternoon.

It’s been two weeks since Ms Ardern announced that April 6 would be the date when New Zealand gave the start date for the trans-Tasman bubble to begin.

The prime minister has since remained tight-lipped on possible start dates, but did Air New Zealand give us a sneak peek when they released return fares and regular schedules from April 19 a fortnight ago?

The Australian newspaper today also reports industry chief John Hart saying “the 19th was pretty much definite”.

Meanwhile, in Wellington on Tuesday morning, Ms Ardern said “they do not know cabinet’s decisions. We have not told them the date we will be opening”.

Flagging mid-April as a likely start date on Channel Nine’s Today Show this morning, Tourism New Zealand’s general manager for Australia, Andrew Waddell said:

“There’s a big benefit of working together on the international stage. Both Australia and New Zealand have managed COVID-19 to reopen borders for the first time and having what will be significant travel between the two countries is exciting,”

Speaking a little later to the ABC, Mr Waddell also highlighted the importance of trade in helping build confidence and book trans-Tasman travel again.

“Get expert advice, agents will be on the front line every day and will be best informed to help plan your travel.” He said.

The big questions now outside of the start date now are:

  • Will the trans-Tasman bubble agreement begin state by state?
  • What happens if new COVID-19 outbreaks happen in terms of travellers becoming stranded?
  • How keenly priced will airfares be?

Approximately 600,000 families separated by the Tasman Sea have been among the loudest voices calling for a resumption of normal travel with emotional scenes expected across the Tasman when flights do begin.

Tourism-related industries and businesses are also desperate for travel to resume both in Australia and New Zealand.

Ms Ardern said she was pleased to finally be able to announce a date, after a tortured 11-month journey from when it was first agreed in principle last May.

“The public, tourism operators, families and friends will have that certainty,” she said.

“I’m a Kiwi like everyone else … I have family and friends in distressing situations because we have had this border in place.

Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister

“We are now able to take this next step and it is a world-first.”

Let the arrival revival begin.