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It's confirmed: New Zealand will open up to Australia early next year

The elusive trans-Tasman travel bubble arrives in 2021

Written by
Divya Venkataraman

It's finally happening. After teasing us with the prospect of a travel bubble for months – what feels like years – New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has finally caved (ok, confirmed) that New Zealand will open its borders up to Australians in early 2021. 

Speaking on Monday, December 14, she stated that the cabinet had agreed in principle to the plan to open up across the Tasman, but didn't give a specific date for when the bubble would come into effect.

"It is our intention to name a date for the commencement of trans-Tasman quarantine free travel in the new year, once remaining details are locked down," she said.

Since October, New Zealanders have been able to travel in and out of some Australian states – including Victoria and NSW – without mandatory quarantine, but the new travel bubble would allow us to return the favour. It should be noted though, like many things promised this year, any travel arrangements across borders will be contingent on case levels staying low, with Ardern highlighting that 28 days of no community transmission would be a requirement for the travel bubble opening and staying open. It's also still pending approval by New Zealand's federal government. 

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