GOVERNMENT WORKING ON NEW QUARANTINE-FREE TRAVEL BUBBLES
written by Hannah Dowling
The federal government has said it will “work towards” establishing a number of quarantine-free travel bubbles, similar to the agreement previously held with New Zealand.
It comes after the government revealed fully vaccinated Australians will be free to leave the country and return from November. Those arriving will then complete seven days of home quarantine, rather than being asked to stay in a hotel.
However, in a statement on Friday, Prime Minister Scott Morrison also confirmed that the government’s next steps would include introducing additional travel bubble arrangements that won’t require any length of quarantine “when it is safe to do so”.
Previously, it had been suggested that a quarantine-free travel arrangement would be introduced with Singapore, plus that the existing trans-Tasman travel bubble – which is currently suspended – could be expanded to include the Pacific islands, including New Caledonia, Tahiti and the Cook Islands.
It comes after Tourism Minister Dan Tehan last week confirmed that the government is in discussion with other countries about setting up quarantine-free travel bubbles with low-risk countries, similar to the agreement that was in place earlier this year with New Zealand.
Last week, the New Zealand government announced that it would extend the suspension of travel between Australia and New Zealand for a further eight weeks, to 19 November.
Even so, Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said it would be “extremely unlikely” that New Zealand would reopen its border to Australia in November, due to its ongoing Delta outbreak in Sydney and Melbourne.