If you're fanging for a holiday to the mythical land of rolling hills, hobbit holes and Jacinda Ardern, you might have to hold tight a bit longer.
There have been talks of a trans-Tasman bubble in the works for some time. The bubble would allow for quarantine-free travel between Australia and NZ, and was initially dependent on case numbers staying low in both countries. But because everything in this chaotic COVID world can change in a literal instant, the plans have shifted or been delayed numerous times, particularly through talks of excluding certain states or current 'hotspot' zones.
So what's the latest? In a snap decision, Australia has decided to clamp down its borders to New Zealand, due to NZ health officials identifying the first case of COVID in the community in two months. This means that any travellers arriving from NZ will go straight to hotel quarantine.
Queen Jacinda isn't stoked, saying she was "disappointed" by the decision and that she has confidence in her country's health efforts. To be honest, seeing how the country effectively responded and has kept numbers seriously low, I share that confidence. (Then again, I would trust Jacinda with whatever.)
"If we are to enter into a trans-Tasman bubble, we will need to give people confidence that we won't see closures at the border that happen with very short notice over incidents we believe can be well-managed domestically," Ms Ardern said.
The single case reported so far hasn't led to any new cases, with 15 out of the 16 people considered as close contacts testing negative.
Hopefully ScoMo and the Australian health officials come up with a good strategy to move ahead with the bubble, so talks of this elusive bubble can get back on the table. As much as I love Melbourne, I'm desperate to get to Hot Water Beach and wash 2020 off me.
Stay tuned; we'll keep you across any developments.
If your head is a little scrambled, make sure you pop over to WHO.int to get all of your official COVID-19 updates.
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