New Zealanders react to trans-Tasman travel bubble announcement

Kiwis have reacted with delight to the announcement a quarantine-free trans-Tasman bubble will open between Australia and New Zealand this month.

In a press conference from Parliament on Tuesday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed Kiwis and Australians will be able to fly between the countries without a mandatory managed isolation period from Monday, April 19.

"Our health response now gives us the opportunity to connect with loved ones again," she said.

"We absolutely wish to encourage family and friends to reunite and visitors to come and enjoy the hospitality New Zealand is ready and waiting to offer."

The move is cause for celebration for both countries, whose tourism industries have been decimated by the COVID-19 pandemic and have been waiting with bated breath for the return of international travellers.

New Zealanders are over the moon to be able to visit our Antipodean neighbours once again, and took to social media in their hundreds to express their excitement.

"Yay quarantine free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand," one wrote. "Time to use up the travel credit from last year's cancelled flights."

"Welp there goes all my money on all this Australian travel. I want to catch up with friends and family. Send money plz," wrote another.

While most Kiwis were stoked to be able to resume travel to popular Australian destinations like Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane once again, there was also celebration that we could welcome Australians back to our shores too.

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff said Aussie tourists would lift the city.

"It is time for Auckland to begin step by safe step to reopen to the world," he said.

"Tourism and hospitality businesses will be enthusiastic about Australian visitors - our city's biggest single source of international tourists - returning to Auckland, giving a much-needed boost to jobs and incomes."

Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce CEO Leeann Watson said the announcement marked an "important milestone" for businesses for whom trans-Tasman travel is a critical part.

"Removing the need and cost of quarantine, and the bottleneck caused by limited MIQ spots will enable businesses to again respond quickly to market requirements and opportunities and be able to readily engage in time-sensitive travel where needed," she explained.

WellingtonNZ CEO John Allen agreed, adding that businesses in the capital would join Auckland and Canterbury in "breathing a collective sigh of relief" at the announcement.

"It is the flickering of an economic light at the end of a very long COVID tunnel."