/ 07 April 2021

Kia ora Kiwiland…

Travel-lusting Aussies will be able to dust off their jandals and book a ticket to see their Kiwi cuzzie bros from 19 April without having to quarantine for 2 weeks when they arrive in New Zealand. Kiwi PM Jacinda Ardern says the start of a two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble “represents the start of a new chapter in our COVID response and recovery, one that people have worked so hard for, and this makes New Zealand and Australia relatively unique.” PM Scott Morrison was similarly enthusiastic, saying New Zealand’s decision was “the first of many more steps to come, I believe, as we get back to a more normal position, not only over the course of this year but beyond.”

And pass the pinot… With travellers from New Zealand already able to enter Oz (except Western Oz) without quarantining, having a 2-way travel agreement with another country is a significant advance since our international border closed more than a year ago. But that doesn’t mean things can’t change – including at short notice. “Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of ‘flyer beware’. People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak,” Ardern warned yesterday. That includes being told on landing in New Zealand that you need to go into hotel quarantine if something happens mid-flight…

That’s the deal. On that front, Morrison says Australia’s vaccination efforts were ahead of New Zealand’s, with more than 843,000 doses administered at the start of this week. He and federal health officials remain under pressure for falling behind, but yesterday he said that it’s “a supply problem, pure and simple” that’s to blame. The culprit: 3.1 million doses that have been held up in Europe. Lawmakers there have been keen to hang onto their local supply in the face of another surge in new COVID cases. Labor and other critics yesterday continued to label Australia’s vaccination effort as chaotic and dysfunctional.

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