New Zealand flights .The trans-Tasman travel bubble is taking shape but New Zealand has moved to smack down a push for flights to start in July, with NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying that September could be a more realistic timeframe.
Australian and New Zealand chambers of commerce proposed launching flights between Canberra and Wellington as a “proof of concept” and Canberra Airport in the week asked would-be travellers to register their interest in flights on the capital city corridor for July 1 and July 2 – despite no airlines having signed up to run the route.
Air New Zealand quickly discounted the thought , with a spokesperson saying the Kiwi carrier “is not proposing Tasman operations until such time that the Tasman borders are open, and only with the support of governments on each side .”
The push from business and tourism groups in both countries accompany the approach of the July school holidays and therefore the peak of the New Zealand ski season, which runs from mid-June through to early October.
Government agencies, health experts, airports, Qantas and Air New Zealand are all a part of the Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group which is drawing up a close plan for the way trans-Tasman travel would recommence, although this may ought to be ratified by the Australian and New Zealand governments.
Ardern stressed yesterday that the blueprint was more a matter of laying the required groundwork instead of giving a green light to reconnect both countries without the necessity for mandatory 14-day quarantine periods.
Ready, set, fly
“We’re focussed on ensuring that as soon as we are ready we will move, we cannot be constrained by wanting to do any administrative or logistical work on our borders.” Arden said yesterday, “so that when we’re during a the position of our health officials and epidemiologists saying they’re comfortable that New Zealand and Australia don’t pose risks to at least one another, then we’ll be able to go.”
“September is realistic, but i have never given specifics around what date precisely. Needless to mention , Prime Minister Morrison and that i are very, very keen to ascertain us moving towards an opening-up of our borders as soon as it’s safe to try to to so.”
Ardern has argued that New Zealand’s border controls are a key plank within the government’s goal of eliminating the virus. The country now has only eight active coronavirus cases and no new cases reported within the past fortnight , while Australia ha 498 active cases including 90 new cases within the past seven days.
“Australia remains handling cases, so a bit more progress is required,” Ardern said. “I don’t want to boost expectations, particularly with the tourism sector, without knowing what’s possible. But i feel it’s fair to mention we are all very eager, we are just eager to do it safely.”
Passport, boarding card , blood test…
Before hopping into that quick flight across the pond, travellers may have to undergo a COVID-19 test and carry a certificate confirming they’re free from the disease.
Kevin Markwell, Professor of Tourism at Australia’s Southern Cross University, told Executive Traveller that to stay the trans-Tasman bubble from bursting, the list of eligibly passengers might be restricted to those with a lower risk of suffering serious illness “and perhaps requiring all travellers to download an app which could be wont to track their movements within each country, just in case this was necessary to trace contacts if any longer outbreaks were to require place.”
“The ability to quickly put a halt on travel between the 2 countries also will got to be built into any strategy,” Markwell cautioned. “Whether people would be willing to risk travel if their travel insurance didn’t cover them for illness related to COVID-19 is another consideration.”