Australia and New Zealand opening travel “bubble” to allow quarantine-free travel between them

Residents of Australia and New Zealand will soon be able to travel back and forth between the two countries without needing to quarantine. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on Tuesday that a travel “bubble” will open April 19.

“The bubble will give our economic recovery a boost and represents a world-leading arrangement of safely opening up international travel while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and keeping the virus out,” Ardern said.

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison backed the decision. Australia has allowed New Zealanders to travel freely in the country for six months without having to quarantine, reports the BBC.

“The fact that we can now combine again will mean more jobs, will mean people reunited,” Morrison said. He also cited Australia and New Zealand’s substantially low COVID-19 numbers, acknowledging that both have “not suffered the same types of virus impacts that we have seen in so many other countries.”

Both nations have been able to keep infection rates at near zero. According to the World Health Organization, Australia boasts just seven new cases while New Zealand has none right now.

New Zealand won’t open to travelers from other countries and has only considered implementing a similar travel bubble with the Cook Islands and Niue. As the Associated Press notes, the tiny countries in the Pacific have constitutional ties to New Zealand.