As the Trans-Tasman Travel Bubble between Australia and New Zealand kicked off yesterday (Monday), in a joint statement both prime ministers called it a “win-win” for the two nations.
Scott Morrison and Jacinda Ardern said the two-way quarantine-free arrangement would boost the economies of both countries while keeping people safe. It was also just in time for the annual Anzac Day commemoration on 25 April.
“The travel across the Tasman demonstrates our special relationship and the long history of freedom of movement between Australia and New Zealand,” the two PMs said.
“Fulfilment of our commitment will allow many friends and family across the Tasman to re-unite for the first time in over a year.
Both countries share a single economic market
“Our countries share a single economic market and two-way travel across the Tasman will help drive the economic recovery for both countries while we continue to navigate the Covid-19 global pandemic, especially in the travel and tourism sectors.”
They said it would also enable closer trans-Tasman business engagement, which would drive broader economic activity in both Australia and New Zealand.
Both PMs added that the commencement of the travel arrangement reflected the outstanding success achieved by the people of Australia and New Zealand in responding to the pandemic.
“Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from Covid and two-way flights are an important step in our road out,” Morrison stated.
Jacinda Ardern says agreement is ‘truly exciting’
Added Ardern: “It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia. Be it returning family, friends or holiday makers, New Zealand says ‘welcome and enjoy yourself’.”
“The bubble marks a significant step in both countries reconnection with the world and it’s one we should all take a moment to be very proud of.”
According to the joint statement, Australia and New Zealand are also exploring opportunities to extend quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific when it is safe to do so. This reflects both nations’ close ties to the Pacific and their commitment to supporting the region’s recovery.
But the statement warned that ensuring the safety of the Australian and New Zealand populations continues to be a primary consideration in managing both nations’ borders. In this evolving pandemic, the risks of quarantine-free travel would be under constant review.