Just in! A 'travel bubble' between New Zealand and Australia amid coronavirus lockdown

WION Web Team Canberra, Australian Capital Territory, Australia May 04, 2020, 05.47 PM(IST)

Coronavirus in New Zealand Photograph:( AFP )

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August is when the corridor is likely to be rolled out, possibly in time for the ski season in New Zealand and the school holidays in September.

Amid the coronavirus lockdown when the movement between countries is restricted, lawmakers from Australia and New Zealand are discussing the possibility of opening up borders to each other. To this end, they may create a travel corridor -- or "travel bubble" -- between the two nations.

Although the two countries are separated by about 2,000 km (1,243 miles) of sea, they have one of the closest bilateral relationships in the world. Australian passport holders can travel and work in New Zealand indefinitely without a visa, and vice versa. The two countries also contribute heavily to each other's tourism industry.

Both countries almost completely shut their borders to foreigners in March. But with both appearing to have successfully brought their coronavirus outbreaks under control, politicians are now talking about when borders could be opened to each other.

August is when the corridor is likely to be rolled out, possibly in time for the ski season in New Zealand and the school holidays in September.

However, to get this bubble in place, airports may need to roll out new procedures.

Experts believe the bubble would only work if the current 14-day quarantine period for anyone entering the country is removed.

A potential Australia and New Zealand travel bubble may end up being a model for the rest of the world.

A challenge that however lies ahead for both countries is not moving too fast, and create a second COVID-19 wave.

Moving too fast could also jeopardise their image with international tourists.