Throughout the pandemic, we've experienced a range of unexpected desires. The urge to fight fellow shoppers for a roll of toilet paper. To touch things we do not wish to buy. And yes – in our darkest moments – to imbibe a Dan Andrews-themed stream of lofi beats.
But maybe the most surprising development is our collective hankering to travel to New Zealand, of all places. And look, I have nothing against New Zealand. Some of my best friends are New Zealand. But it's never been the top of many Australians' dream travel destinations, has it? It's always been too close to exoticise in the way we do 'Europe' or 'Asia'. But as soon as the pandemic kicked off, we started to long desperately for NZ's hilly landscape. It's bracing chill. It's Jacinda Ardern.
Talks of a Trans-Tasman 'travel bubble' between Australia and New Zealand, where residents of the two countries could freely travel from one to the other without the need to quarantine on either side, have been happening since April 2020. Given the unpredictability of COVID-19 outbreaks, it's all been extremely stop-start: but the idea of an exclusive, Antipodean bubble remains as tantalising as ever.
Trans-Tasman Bubble Start Date
This afternoon at a press conference, Prime Minister Of New Zealand (and captor of our hearts) Jacinda Ardern finally announced that the Trans-Tasman travel bubble will be kicking off in just under two weeks on Sunday the 18th of April at 11:59pm.
Prime Minister Ardern says that both countries are confident in their ability to manage a reciprocal arrangement, and while she flagged the recent outbreak of COVID-19 in Brisbane, she added that the infections had been contained and any "residual risk" could be managed.
Jacinda also pointed out that the NZ-AU travel bubble is an arrangement unseen in any other part of the world.
Conditions apply, though: get across the finer details at ABC News.
Written by Reena Gupta, a Melbourne-based writer for MTV Australia. Follow her on Twitter @purpletank.
Editor's Note: An earlier version of this article mistakenly referred to COVID-19 'breakouts' rather than 'outbreaks'. (Mask acne is real, people).