Likelihood Of Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble Operating Before Christmas Is Pretty Much Zero

By Jack Saddler November 16, 2020

Jacinda Arden pours cold water on Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble.

When the “travel bubble” between New Zealand and Australia was announced earlier this year, we were excited. And then when stage one kicked into gear and we began to see New Zealanders start coming over, we started getting pretty giddy that soon we too would be able to hop over the ditch and travel internationally.

This excitement, however, has been short-lived with Premier Jacinda Arden explaining that a key difference in Australia’s and New Zealand’s approach to tackling the coronavirus pandemic is likely to prevent the ”travel bubble” from coming into effect by Christmas — at least, for Australians wanting to visit their Kiwi neighbours.

Speaking to the media, Jacinda Arden has said that Australia’s higher tolerance for Covid community transmission ‘problematic’.

”What’s happening in South Australia only further reinforces the importance of having a good understanding of how Australia intends to manage their internal borders when there are outbreaks,” Ardern said.

”If they have an outbreak but they are instituting strong border controls, then it’s manageable. But if they have a tolerance level for community transmission that’s higher than ours, then it is problematic.”

The difference in strategy is one of suppression (Aus) vs elimination (NZ). This difference is that Australian states lock down areas when cases reach a certain level whereas New Zealand doesn’t allow for this same level of risk to occur.

Earlier in the year, reports suggested that flights between Auckland and Adelaide could be some of the first to restart. However, that is definitely off the table now after the South Australian government has reimposed restrictions following the Parafield cluster outbreak.

Kiwis, though, are still welcome in NSW and the NT without the need to guarantee first.

Virgin Australia is selling flights at low, low prices for travel next year — sale ends soon.