Travel Bubble

One-way 'travel bubble' opens between Australia and NZ

None of the passengers on the flight from Auckland to Sydney will be required to quarantine in Australia.

However they will have to pay for their own quarantine in a hotel when they return to New Zealand.

At the moment, the bubble is one-sided, with Australians not allowed to enter New Zealand.

Australia and New Zealand are among the first countries in the Asia-Pacific region to loosen restrictions on international travel since Covid-19 travel bans came into effect earlier this year.

Fiji still keen for 'bula bubble' with NZ and Australia

The newly-appointed Cook Islands Prime Minister Mark Brown said he expects quarantine-free travel with New Zealand to be in place by December.

New Zealand's Prime Minister said she expects her country will soon be in a position to open up to the Cook Islands.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said his country is committed to making the 'Bula Bubble' work with its major partners in the region.

Coronavirus: Australia opens 'travel zone' to New Zealanders

People will be able to fly from New Zealand to New South Wales and the Northern Territory - and avoid mandatory quarantine - from 16 October.

The nations closed their borders in March in a bid to stop the spread of coronavirus.

Officials say the risks are now low enough to justify a "travel bubble".

"The establishment of a travel zone between Australia and New Zealand has been finalised," said Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack.

'Pacific neighbours in far greater need' of travel bubble - specialist workers

Auckland Airport said it would physically divide operations to allow unrestricted travel to and from the Covid-free Cook Islands. Wellington Airport also said it could segregate flyers.

But the government here is exercising caution, frustrating specialist workers with contracts and commitments in Pacific Island countries.

Hopes for a Pacific travel bubble fading

The region's economies are reeling from the loss of tourism - which makes up a majority of their income - because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Chris Cocker said Pacific governments have been hoping for a travel bubble to help recoup some of the losses, but these hopes are fading.

"Because of the second wave hitting globally etc, and also the delays that we have seen with the Trans-Tasman bubble, realistically, and in the best case scenario, in the first quarter in 2021 in this area."

NZ cautious about Fiji 'Bula Bubble'

Wellington's response follows Fiji's announcement this week that it was hoping to establish a tourism bubble with Australia and New Zealand, to attract visitors.

Fiji Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama said tourists could be contained and prevented from mixing with locals.

"VIP lanes - starting on the airplane, then from Nadi Airport onto designated transport to their designated resort or hotel where they'll remain throughout their stay", Mr Bainimarama said.

Fiji was identifying geographically-isolated resorts best suited for the Bula Bubble, he said.

New Covid-19 cases deflating Australia, Pacific bubble ideas

With 10 active cases and quarantine botch-ups, it could be months yet before Australian and Pacific visitors are allowed in.

Meanwhile, Australian Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham has warned its border will mostly likely be locked down until 2021.

That has businesses feeling nervous.

For Skyline - an adventure tourism business in Queenstown and Rotorua - the weekdays are the hardest.

Locals are visiting in the weekends and school holidays, but in between the luges and gondolas are quiet.

NZ health chief says Pacific bubble risks could be managed

There are calls across the region for travel to be reinstated, possibly before a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia.

Ashley Bloomfield said the Ministry of Health hadn't yet been asked for advice about an arrangement.

"My own view is that the risks can be managed well, especially if we've got countries that have got good testing in place and we know that they haven't got any cases and the arrangements can be put in place for travel to and fro," Dr Bloomfield said.

Pacific airlines holding out for NZ and Australia to reopen

George Faktaufon said Pacific airlines are not going to be able to count on national government support for handouts to keep them afloat, and the clock is already ticking for some airlines.

"It's very hard to plan for something that you are not quite sure when it's going to happen, because we have always planned for something that is certain, but the plan is depending on when Australia and New Zealand are opening up," he said.