Coronavirus has ruined the Travel industry because of the contagious nature of the disease. Travel related businesses are struggling to remain visible. People are fed up remaining isolated from society and want to return to the pre-COVID days. Under the circumstances, the initiative taken by NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is a step in the right direction. She announced quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia could become a reality early next year. The coronavirus originated in China, and it has taken millions of lives all over the world.

Medics advise people to maintain distance from others, avoid physical contact with unknown people, and keep away from crowds. Airlines have grounded their planes, and cruise ships are in ports. The roads wear a deserted look, and employees have adopted the work-from-home-culture. Cinema halls have downed shutters, and eatery joints have to ensure social distancing. As we know it, Lifestyle has taken a severe beating, and the world is waiting for normalcy to return. Qantas introduced a concept of travel during the coronavirus pandemic - 'flight to nowhere."

On the subject of the air travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia, News AU quotes Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern saying – "It is our intention to name date of when the bubble will start in the New Year.

The opening of the bubble is contingent on Australia's Cabinet signing it off, and that the COVID-19 situation in either country doesn't change."

Australia and New Zealand are attractive travel destinations

In 2019, about 2.8 million residents from Australia and New Zealand traveled between the two countries. These are attractive travel destinations, and coronavirus has taken a heavy toll on tourism.

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The proposed quarantine-free air travel bubble would come as a huge relief to businesses associated with tourism. The date of starting this operation is not yet confirmed, but the two-way travel bubble could take off in March. It would allow Australians to travel to New Zealand without being in quarantine. Under the existing one-way travel arrangement, people from New Zealand can travel to most of Australia without quarantine.

Certain areas do not enjoy this freedom.

There is a need to establish travel bubbles

Virgin Australia welcomed the New Zealand Government's decision and indicated the availability of more than 70 services to New Zealand from March 28, 2021. These include linking major cities in Australia with cities like Auckland, Christchurch, Wellington, and Queenstown in New Zealand. The airline assured it would continuously review the situation and adjust its schedule to match with the demands. Qantas also operates some weekly services between Sydney and Auckland. It could rejig its services once details of the travel bubble are available. Australia plans to open its borders to parts of Asia next year. These could be Singapore, Japan, and some parts of China.

An official of the Tourism Industry Council told a section of the media about the likelihood of more Australians visiting New Zealand rather than the other way around. He is managing director Simon Westaway. In his words - "the reality is we do need to establish travel bubbles."

New Zealand announced quarantine-free travel with the Cook Islands

Travelers from New Zealand can avail themselves of quarantine-free travel to certain Australian destinations. However, they have to quarantine on return. The latest decision of NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern means quarantine-free travel both ways. Both the countries enforced strict control measures and succeeded in containing their coronavirus outbreaks.

That encouraged them to consider an option like the air travel bubble. It will provide a boost to tourism. The announcement comes on the heels of quarantine-free travel with the Cook Islands in the first quarter of next year. This is a Pacific Island accessible from Auckland by a flight of around four hours. An air travel bubble between Singapore and Hong Kong is on the cards beyond December 2020.