• 2020.12.01
  • Pacific Bubble
As the Australian states are slowly reopening their borders to national travelers and people willing or hoping to move from state to state to visit family members and friends, we are also starting to talk about potentially reopening Australian borders to selected Pacific islanders.
The New South Wales Government will officially reopen the border to Victoria on Monday, November 23rd, day in which all requirements for border permits and quarantine requirements will be dropped.
All retail, beauticians and tattoo parlours will be allowed to reopen, in line with Covid-safe plans.
Cafes, bars and restaurants will be allowed to reopen with indoor seating of up to 20, outdoor up to 50, and recordkeeping and Covid-safe plans in place. Weddings can be held with a maximum of 10 people, and funerals can have a maximum of 20 people. Outdoor religious ceremonies can accommodate up to 20 people.
The Government is claiming that it is the only state or territory to make all Australians welcome and whether people traveling from Victoria will be allowed to enter other states after passing through NSW is for those states to decide.
Despite this, the Australian Government is restricting travel to certain remote communities (designated areas). These restrictions aim to protect Community Elders and those already sick.
Before you can enter a designated area, you must quarantine for 14 days. If you're already in a designated area, stay there unless it is essential to leave for medical treatment.
Travel agents are indeed pushing the Australian government to consider reopening the borders to those countries with no new reported cases (such as New Zealand) and tour operators in many Pacific countries are urging the creation of a Pacific Islands travel bubble or 'trans-Tasman bubble', as some call it, saying it will give Australia and New Zealand’s tourism sector a vital boost as the world continues to grapple with Coronavirus and international travel remains off the table.
Many Pacific nations are now Covid-free but are suffering the devastating economic impacts of the virus.
Fiji was declared Covid-free, while other Pacific countries, including Vanuatu and Tonga, have successfully kept the virus away altogether.
But in a part of the world that is financially dependent on tourism and which imports much of its food, fuel and other vital supplies, travel lockdowns have hit Pacific economies especially hard.
A travel bubble that may include these islands together with Australia and New Zealand would do far more good than any financial aid or assistance.
New Zealand and Australia have been reluctant to consider including Pacific neighbours without restrictions and so far Australia has indicated in its regulations that Pacific laborers might be able to travel to Australia to work, but two-way travel is not yet currently being considered.
Governments across the Pacific also hold concerns that if the virus were to gain a significant foothold in the region it could devastate island communities, which have limited public health infrastructure, and populations with high rates of comorbidities, such as diabetes.
Travel is very slowly beginning to resume across the Pacific, but so far has largely been limited to the repatriation of citizens, or travel between communities with existing close ties.
I have also read somewhere that the Hawaiian government is hoping to create a trans-Pacific travel bubble with Australia and Japan - among some other countries in the Pacific - before the year ends to help the struggling tourism industry and Mr Morrison said in a public speech this month that Australia would consider opening travel bubbles with Singapore, South Korea, Japan and Pacific island nations under some specific conditions that he did not mention though.
Most travels worldwide are now done upon the request of a Covid swab so I would assume that something similar might be requested in this case too.


Maybe New Zealand

and Hawaii will be included in the Pacific Travel Bubble


  • Alberto Ferrando
  • Jobcivil engineer

Hello everyone! I’m originally from Italy and I moved to Sydney, Australia, in 2012 after getting a job as a civil engineer. I love walking my dog along the beach, surfing and taking photos. I used to have a travel blog because I’m passionate about traveling and I love writing about it too. Sydney is my home base now and I wish to share how amazing it is to live here. I love to spend time outdoors and I’m always well informed about local events because my girlfriend works in event management.

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