Australia and New Zealand have agreed to establish a trans-Tasman travel “bubble” as soon as it is safe to allow flights between the two countries.
The announcement follows talks between the countries’ respective leaders Scott Morrison and Jacinda Arden.
However no timeline was given as to when travel between the two countries without a 14-day quarantine period would begin, as any move to open the international border would need to take into account state and territory movement restrictions in Australia.
Morrison said making the announcement was “part of the road back”.
“When we are seeing Australians travel from Melbourne to Cairns – at about that time I would expect, everything being equal – we would be able to fly from Melbourne to Auckland or Christchurch or things like that,” he said.
Ardern said there were a lot of similarities in the way the two countries had managed the pandemic.
“Neither of us want cases of Covid coming between our countries,” she said. “Neither of us would want the burden of that.”
Once travel between the Tasman has begun the two countries we will then explore opportunities to expand the concept to Pacific island countries.