Australia opens ‘travel zone’ to New Zealanders

Canberra, Oct 2 : New Zealanders will be allowed to enter Australia in the first opening of international borders by the two countries since travel restrictions were imposed due to the Covid-19 pandemic, Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack announced here on Friday.

“The establishment of a travel zone between Australia and New Zealand has been finalised,” the BBC reported citing the Australian Deputy Prime Minister as saying to the media.

“This is the first stage in what we hope to see as a trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries, stopping not just at that state and that territory,” he added.

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According to the Deputy Prime Minister, at first travel will be limited to New Zealanders.

McCormack further said that a decision on when Australians may be able to visit New Zealand would be up to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

Friday’s announcement came after Ardern had said on September 28 that an air bubble between her country and some Australian states was possible by the end of this year.

She had confirmed that work was underway for weeks on the prospect of forming a bubble, and the ability to move between parts of both countries that were not affected by the coronavirus pandemic, The New Zealand Herald newspaper reported.

Plans for a travel bubble between the two countries have been in discussion for months, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) said in a news report.

However, the talks were disrupted after a resurgence new cases in Melbourne and also a second wave of the virus in Auckland.

New Zealand has recorded 1,848 cases and 25 deaths, while Australia has registered 27,096 infections and 888 fatalities.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-generated from IANS service.

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