Australia’s tourism sector could be set for a boost as top secret plans show how travellers from New Zealand may start flying into the country by November.
Under the plans, which were crafted by the tourism restart task force, holidaymakers from across the Tasman would avoid hotel quarantine.
This includes Australian citizens currently stuck in New Zealand, meaning they could finally be reunited with friends and family while enjoying a trip home.
Australians would then be able to go to New Zealand without hotel quarantine from January or February, the plans obtained by The Australian showed.
Top secret plans reveal how holidays to New Zealand could be back by January (Pictured: A passenger from a Qantas flight from Melbourne wait in line in Sydney on August 8)
Australians would be able to go to New Zealand without hotel quarantine by January or February (Pictured: Passengers wearing face masks check in in Sydney on September 24)
Talk of the trans-Tasman bubble has been happening for months but Victoria’s second wave put those plans on hold as the state struggled to get its COVID-19 outbreak under control.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern previously said she would not consider a bubble unless the whole of Australia goes 28 days without community transmission.
But with COVID-19 cases dropping to single digits in Victoria this week, the plans are now back on the table.
On Monday, Ms Ardern raised hopes again, saying the travel bubble could be up and running sooner than expected.
‘What we’d need to be assured of is when Australia is saying they have a hot spot (in one state), that the border around that hot spot means that people aren’t able to travel into the states where we are engaging with trans-Tasman travel,’ she told TVNZ.
New Zealand’s deputy prime minister Winston Peters said the plan would be able to go ahead so long as both nations have excellent contact tracing.
Australia’s tourism sector is in for a boost as top secret plans show travellers from New Zealand could start flying into the country by November (Pictured: Travellers leaving Sydney in March)
Under the plans, which were crafted by the tourism restart task force, holidaymakers from across the Tasman would avoid hotel quarantine (Pictured are passengers at Sydney International Airport on September 18 after flying in from Auckland)
The taskforce, made up of representatives from the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Tourism Australia, Flight Centre, Tourist Accommodation Australia and other business leaders, has called for all state border closures to be removed by December 1.
‘It is over to the authorities to ensure that it happens both ways. Personally if we can ensure that both Australia and New Zealand are safe in what we seek to do, it is very important that we get our tourism back on track as fast as we possibly can.’
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said work is underway to ensure the travel bubble with New Zealand can be safely achieved.
The tourism minister added ‘corridors’ and ‘clearances’ in airports in Australia and New Zealand would help separate travellers between the two countries and those from other parts of the world who would need to quarantine.
Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham said the plan to restart travel between New Zealand and Australia could go ahead with strict airport controls separating flyers from the two countries with other travellers
Hopes travel between Australia and New Zealand could be on the horizon have been renewed by falling infection rates in Victoria
Mr Birmingham’s comments come as the coalition government announced it was providing $250million to boost tourism and infrastructure in Australia’s regions.
WHAT IS THE TRANS-TASMAN BUBBLE
Australia and New Zealand have discussed the possibility of a ‘trans-Tasman bubble’.
The bubble would allow residents from both countries to travel across the ditch without having to endure a mandatory 14-day isolation period.
The idea has been raised as both countries have been successful in controlling the outbreak of the coronavirus.
The October 6 budget will set aside $50million for a regional tourism recovery initiative to assist businesses in regions heavily reliant on international tourism.
Domestic travel within Australia also has the potential to revitalise the tourism sector as Australians frustrated by restrictions get itchy feet.
Interstate borders have been tumbling with the following travel now allowed:
NSW: Anyone can enter unless they visited Victoria in the last 14 days. Anyone who has been in Victoria needs an exemption to enter and has to quarantine for 14 days. NSW residents cannot cross the border to Queensland.
South Australia: Everyone can enter unless they’ve been in Victoria in the last 14 days. South Australia has also just relaxed its rules to allow up to 600 overseas Australian travellers to return to the state each week – more than double the previous intake.
Queensland: Anyone can enter unless they have been in a hotspot during the last 14 days, such as Victoria or NSW. Queenslanders going to Tasmania have to isolate for 14 days and they cannot go to WA without an exemption.
ACT: Anyone can enter unless they’ve been in Victoria recently.
Northern Territory: Everyone can enter unless they’ve been in a coroanvirus hotspot (Victoria and Sydney) in the last 28 days. Those who have been in a hotspot must do 14 days of hotel quarantine costing $2500.
Tasmania: Nobody can enter without an exemption if they have been in a hotspot (including all of Victoria) during the last 14 days. All those entering the state must quarantine for 14 days.
Western Australia: Nobody can enter without applying for an exemption.