Travel bubble loophole could see Australians fly further abroad

Travel bubble loophole could see Australians fly further abroad
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Australians could be able to exploit a loophole in the New Zealand travel bubble to fly further abroad.

But leaving isn’t the issue – getting back home is.

Australia implemented an unprecedented outward travel ban for citizens at the height of the pandemic.

It means very few exemptions have been issued for those who want to leave the country over the past 14 months.

But New Zealand has no such rule – and with the commencement of quarantine-free travel across the Tasman, Australians could technically fly to New Zealand, stay a couple of days and buy a new ticket outbound.

The catch, however, is making your way back home.

Currently, there are around 35,000 Australians stranded abroad who haven’t been able to return home since the pandemic began.

With limited seats available on flights, many people are vying for few spots and paying exorbitant prices.

That’s on top of the thousands it costs to quarantine for a full fortnight in government-regulated accommodation.

Families reunite on the opening of the two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble.
Families reunite on the opening of the two-way trans-Tasman travel bubble. Credit: Nick Perry/AP

Those factors were stressed by an Australian Border Force spokesperson to the Australian Financial Review.

“Currently, New Zealand does not prevent Australian citizens leaving New Zealand and travelling onwards overseas,” the spokesperson said.

“Those who travel onwards from New Zealand to another international destination must be aware that returning to Australia or New Zealand may be difficult due to the current restrictions on passenger numbers and the availability of flights.”

7NEWS.com.au has contacted Border Force for further comment.

Victoria only last week began accepting international flights again after repeated breaches in the hotel quarantine system.

The nationwide cap currently sits at 6000.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has floated the idea of people being able to quarantine at home as the rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine progresses.

That would free up places in hotel quarantine for international students and essential foreign workers.

However, any changes wouldn’t be made until the second half of 2021.