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New Zealand-Australia travel bubble to start on April 19

Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on April 19, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Tuesday.
Ardern said the conditions for starting to open up quarantine-free travel with Australia have been met.
"Our team's success in managing COVID-19 and keeping it out over the past 12 months now opens up the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and resume Trans-Tasman travel," Ardern said in a news conference.
The quarantine-free travel arrangement between New Zealand and Australia could be a "world-first", Ardern said.
Australia and New Zealand have managed the COVID-19 crisis more successfully than most other developed nations after closing their international borders to non-citizens and permanent residents very early during the pandemic.
Australia has recorded about 29,400 COVID-19 cases and 909 deaths since the pandemic began, while New Zealand has had just over 2,100 confirmed cases and 26 deaths.
"Our public health approach has meant we are now able to take this next step, and it's a world-first," Ardern told reporters in Wellington. "I don't know of any other countries in the world who are maintaining an elimination strategy and opening up with another country, so it is a remarkable thing."
The travel bubble would restrict travelers from certain areas in the event of an outbreak in Australia and is expected to run on a state-by-state basis, the broadcaster said.
Some Australian states have opened their borders to New Zealanders since last October, but it has been a one-way arrangement due to sporadic outbreaks in some Australian cities.


© Thomson Reuters 2021.
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