Australia and New Zealand have opened a quarantine-free travel bubble, allowing residents of the two countries to travel freely across the Tasman Sea for the first time in more than a year.
Both countries shut their borders during the early stages of the Covid crisis last March and brought in mandatory quarantine for all travellers, including those travelling between the near neighbours.
Since October, New Zealanders have been able to enter most Australian states without having to quarantine, but it is only now Australia has agreed to a fully reciprocal arrangement.
Bubble passengers must have spent at least 14 days in either Australia or New Zealand. They must also not be waiting for results of a Covid test, or have any symptoms, if they are to travel.
There is no vaccination requirement for bubble travellers either. Both Qantas and Air New Zealand have pledged to increase capacity to meet demand for travel between Australia and New Zealand.
Both New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern and Australia’s Scott Morrison welcomed the move, but stressed the trans-Tasman travel bubble would remain under "constant review".
Similar bubble arrangements have previously been touted with neighbouring Pacific island nations, as well as the likes of Singapore and Taiwan.