Dust off those passports, because a start date on international travel could be here by July.
According to the Tourism Restart Taskforce, which was established to advise the Federal Government on a domestic and international travel road map post-COVID, Australians may be able to starting flying to New Zealand in little more than a month.
News.com.au understands that at the last taskforce meeting on May 22, which was attended by Tourism Minister Simon Birmingham, a tourism timetable was presented outlining start dates for domestic and international travel.
According to John Hart, the Chair of the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Tourism, Minister Birmingham gave the timetable the green light, however, that doesn’t mean we should be packing our bags just yet given the document is “aspirational”.
But Mr Hart says he’s confident travelling over the ditch will kick off from July 1.
“We are saying that New Zealand travel will definitely commence on July 1 and from 10 September we will consider whether other bubbles can commence,” he told 7NEWS.
As part of the timetable, which has been viewed by news.com.au, the advisory group recommended all domestic travel to begin by June 5, while international travel to New Zealand and the Pacific should commence by July 1.
For those looking to travel further abroad, other countries deemed ‘safe’ may start from September, with all overseas travel possible commencing from early 2021.
The taskforce, which is an advisory group made up of experts from accommodation, travel retail, cruising, export, government and events, recommended the first flight on July 1 – if approved – would contain government officials, media and business representatives.
The trans-Tasman travel bubble has been in discussion between both New Zealand and Australian Prime Ministers since the beginning of May.
As part of the plan, residents would not be required to take part in a 14-day quarantine.
However Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has cautioned both New Zealand and Australian residents to not get too excited yet, despite the overwhelming “enthusiasm” to get the bubble going.
“Obviously what we want to do is make sure that we’ve got all of that border work in place, that we are ready to go when we have agreement on both sides of the Tasman that it is safe to proceed,” she said, according to Radio New Zealand.
“One of the conversations we’ve had is that we’ve perhaps had a little bit more time to see what is happening with our efforts to stamp out Covid with eased restrictions.
“Australia in some cases is just getting into that, so I’d say good work is taking place and it won’t be too long before we will be ready,” Ms Ardern said.
News.com.au has contacted the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Tourism for comment.