New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her cabinet has agreed to form a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia by the end of March 2021.
The NZ government has come under increasing pressure to restore pre-COVID travel arrangements, ending the need for a mandatory 14-day quarantine for international arrivals, from Australia.
Quarantine-free travel will also require Australian government approval and COVID case numbers staying at rock bottom.
Ms Ardern said the NZ government would name a precise date “in the New Year once remaining details are locked down”.
New Zealand has also agreed to start a bubble with the Cook Islands, which has not had a single case of COVID-19, within the same timeframe.
Ms Ardern said one-way travel from the Cooks to New Zealand would come before any opening to Australia.