New Zealand looking to suspend the free travel laws for the Australian citizens for more than 8 weeks
The travel bubble already got restricted for travelers looking forward to travel to and coming from South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria
As Australia battles an outbreak of the highly infectious delta virus variant, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand is expecting to restrict its quarantine-free travel agreement with Australia for at least eight weeks beginning Friday night. It is not an easy-decision; however, it is the correct one to keep New Zealanders safe from the rising infections in the Asia-Pacific region. The travel bubble already got restricted for travelers looking forward to travel to and coming from South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria. In Asia, where governments have kept their borders mostly closed during the pandemic, the bubble was an unusual quarantine-free arrangement.
Since the bubble burst on April 19, demand for flights between Australia and New Zealand has been registered to be lower than expected. According to statistics, scheduled airline capacity between New Zealand and Australia was around 44% in 2019 levels for this month, which is recorded at significantly lower than earlier expected levels of more than 70%. Only Air New Zealand and Qantas Airways have been able to flow through the route, and there have been periodic pauses in the bubble due to tiny outbreaks that have shattered the consumer confidence across the two countries. The travel bubble was advertised as quarantine-free and test-free, however, New Zealand has been on the verge of added a testing requirement last month, making it more expensive for Australians to visit.
Qantas announced that from July 31 onwards, the majority of Australia-New Zealand services could get cancelled due to the rising infection rates. It is accompanied by the fact that only a few flights would be remaining for essential freight and travel. For the next week, the New Zealand government has announced that all Australian states and territories would have managed return flights for New Zealanders, which will need documentation of a negative pre-departure tachycardia test.