What is the Pacific Travel Bubble?
The Pacific Travel Bubble is a concept created during the Covid 19 outbreak. It originally started as a Trans-Tasman Bubble between New Zealand and Australia which led to Pacific Island Leaders expressing an interest to join the bubble.
Essentially, the Pacific Bubble will allow countries that are deemed Covid free to open their borders and allow people to travel freely between the countries named within the bubble e.g. New Zealand, Australia, Fiji and Rarotonga. Countries outside of the Pacific MAY be able to visit, but Government Approval, Medical Tests and Quarantine would likely apply to people traveling from outside of the bubble.
Is there a date set for the Pacific Travel Bubble?
As of 30 July 2020, no official date has been set for the Travel Bubble. Earlier reports indicated that the bubble may have been ready to open on 01 July 2020, however this did not happen.
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What Countries will be in the Pacific Bubble?
Nothing has been finalized, however Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Vanuatu and The Cook Islands leaders have all expressed an interest to create a Pacific Bubble.
There will be very strict conditions for countries who join the Pacific Bubble. It is likely they will be required to be deemed Covid 19 free and/or have controlled measures in place. Details of the conditions set within the Pacific Bubble will be announced at a later date.
What is the difference between the Pacific Travel Bubble and Bula Bubble?
The Pacific Bubble allows certain countries to operate a somewhat normal approach to their borders allowing people to freely move between each country named in the bubble. The Bula Bubble is essentially a marketing initiative being driven by Fiji Airways and the Fijian Government to encourage tourists from New Zealand and Australia to holiday in Fiji once the conditions of the borders have been set. Details of the Bula Bubble can be found here
Other News on the Pacific Travel Bubble and Trans Tasman Bubble
Cook Islands to New Zealand Air Bridge Delayed – Radio New Zealand – 27 July 2020
Radio New Zealand reported that The Cook Islands and New Zealand governments have again delayed announcing details of an air-bridge between the two countries.
The New Zealand Cabinet was understood to be discussing plans today for the first relaxation of the borders of New Zealand and Cook Islands, expected in a matter of weeks.
But hopes Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would announce details at her post-Cabinet press conference this evening, have been dashed – for the third week in a row.
Cook Islands’ Tourism Industry Council acting president and Muri Beach Club Hotel general manager, Liana Scott, said the delay was a “shame” and renewed calls for a firm date to reopen the borders. Read Full Report Here
Air New Zealand agrees with Jacinda Ardern that separating transit passengers complicates travel bubbles – News Hub – 23 July 2020
New Hub reported separating transiting passengers is a complication Jacinda Ardern has raised when asked why travel bubbles are taking so long to establish – and Air New Zealand CEO Greg Foran agrees.
“We’re going to have to sort out how we transit passengers,” Foran told a committee of MPs on Thursday, when asked about the likelihood of a travel bubble with Australia or the Cook Islands.
“If you’ve got a country that’s effectively COVID-free with another country that’s COVID-free, you’ve got to sort out how you’re going to handle the intermingling, or ideally not the intermingling, of passengers that are transiting through,” he said. Read the full report here
Fiji set to drop quarantine requirements (and hotel prices) as it reaches out to NZ tourists – Stuff.co.nz – 20 Jul 2020
Stuff.co.nz reported that Fiji is going hard-out in its bid to attract more tourists post-Covid, and make it more competitive against destinations like Bali and Phuket.
In a range of incentives announced in Fiji’s 2020-2021 budget at the weekend, the Pacific island nation will soon drop its quarantine requirements for tourists from New Zealand, Minister for Economy Aiyaz Sayed-Khaiyum says.
Hotel accommodation, food and beverages prices have been reduced, and the first 150,000 visitors to its shores will get $400 (NZ$282) each towards packages including flights, accommodation and food and beverages. Read More