New Zealanders will soon be able to travel to Australia and return without going through quarantine here. The Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, announced the travel bubble will start on April 19th. At the moment, travellers would need a negative Covid-19 test before leaving.
This announcement was good news for many businesses in New Zealand and for families here who have relatives in Australia who have not been able to meet since our lockdown in March 2020. In that time, babies have been born, couples have married, and people have become older. Some family members have been separated for a year because of lockdowns. They have been able to keep in touch through technology, but it is not the same as meeting in person.
New Zealand businesses are hoping that Australian tourists will spend money on hotels, restaurants, campervans, rental cars and tourist activities like jet boating. With winter fast approaching, ski areas like Queenstown, Wanaka and Taupo are also hoping for Australian skiers.
Ms Ardern warned of what she called “Flyer Beware”. She copied the well known phrase, “Buyer Beware” which means be careful when you buy something from someone you don’t know. There may be a problem with the product you buy. However, “Flyer Beware” probably means that there is always a possibility of a lockdown in the country you are visiting. If that happens, you may not be able to get home until after the lockdown.
At the moment, there is no discussion about a vaccination passport but as soon as many people have been vaccinated, that could change.
quarantine – isolation from other people; at the moment, travellers to New Zealand have to spend two weeks in a quarantine hotel.
keep in touch – this is a useful phrase which has a wide meaning. You can keep in touch sometimes through phone, video, email, text, letter or visiting in person.