Tue, 18 May 2021

CANBERRA, April 19 (Xinhua) -- Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison on Monday welcomed the opening of free travel between his country and New Zealand, saying it is a "win-win" for both countries.

As of Monday, Australians can enter and return from New Zealand without having to quarantine on either side.

It marks the first time that Australians can enjoy unrestricted international travel since the country's international borders were closed in March 2020 to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

"Today's milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders," Morrison said in a joint statement with his New Zealand counterpart Jacinda Ardern on Monday, adding it will help drive the economic recovery for both countries while continuing to navigate the COVID-19 global pandemic, especially in the travel and tourism sectors.

"Both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from COVID and two-way flights are an important step in our road out."

He said that the two countries were also considering opportunities to open the bubble to other countries in the Pacific.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the opening of travel marked a significant step in both countries' reconnection with the world.

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