New Zealand and Australia as they rebound from the pandemic, have introduced what could be the near future of travel in the post-virus era. The travel bubble.
As many countries curtail new COVID-19 cases as a result of strict lockdown and travel measures, domestic flights have slowly started to resume. However, the possibility of international travel still seems blurred on the horizon, as countless countries have imposed entry bans. As the world succumbs to travel restrictions and bunkers in, New Zealand and Australia come up with the concept travel bubble, relieving travellers from holiday blues.
What does it mean?
While both the countries keep their borders shut, they consider opening borders to each other to travel between what’s regarded as a safe zone — the Trans-Tasman bubble, the area between New Zealand and Australia. Nevertheless, it doesn’t yet apply to other nationals since there is no clear idea as to when interstate travel will resume in their countries. Both the countries still have some restrictions in place but have been clearly successful at curbing the novel pandemic at the earlier stage itself.
This move is also logical in several other aspects. Both Australia and New Zealand heavily contribute to each other’s tourism revenue and both allow visa-free entry to each other. Goodwill aside, both the countries’ Prime Ministers have also deemed it more important to not jeopardize what they’ve been able to pull off so far — dealing with coronavirus effectively.
There’s a catch…
Although the International Air Transport Association calls out the need for a more deliberate approach in travel resumption and New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says this process will take time to be implemented, this is indeed better than running with zero travel hopes for the presumed future. The travellers may not be able to access the parts outside of the bubble and also need to go on quarantine in their home country upon their return.
When this comes into effect or if it comes at all is not yet made clear, but at least we have a model that could help the travel space up and running at the beginning of the post-virus era — travel between the safe zones of relatively mild-hit countries.
Too ambitious or too hopeful? Let’s wait and watch.