Coronavirus: Australia pushing for two-way trans-Tasman bubble with New Zealand before Christmas


A two-way travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand could be open by Christmas if our trans-Tasman neighbours' government has its way. 

Its tourism body wants a bubble to open first between Canberra and Wellington before it's rolled out to other cities and states - but the big question now is will our Government go along with it?

In Melbourne, their faces still hide behind masks, but on Friday, months of lockdown became worthwhile. 

"We mark the 28th day across the state of no community transmission -  something everyone should be fundamentally proud of," said Victoria Premier Daniel Andrews.

That's 28 days without a case of COVID-19, 17 without one in New South Wales, 77 days in Queensland, and seven months in Western Australia.

A small contained cluster of 29 cases in South Australia is all that breaks the country's coronavirus-free streak.   

"Yes, we're safe and look forward to welcoming New Zealanders with open arms," said John Hart of Australia's Chamber of Commerce.

The Chamber of Commerce is proposing for a two-way bubble before Christmas. 

It would begin on December 21st, with the first flight from Canberra to Wellington. Canberra has been picked because it's one of the most COVID-free cities in Australia.

There are no other international flights in or out, and they can undertake full body temperature checks before boarding. 

Once proven successful, the bubble would expand to other airports.

"We want to get into rhythm bringing back business travel and leisure travel and freight movements," Hart said.

That trade relationship between Australia and New Zealand is worth $73 million a week.

Epidemiologist and Otago University Professor Michael Baker says pressure is now mounting on New Zealand. He believes it's possible to get a trial up before Christmas. 

"If anything, New Zealand has had more problems with borders than Australia because we've had a failure every two weeks," he said.

"I think we're close to a situation where we can have quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand."

A two-way bubble that has Australia wondering, where the bloody hell are ya?