Travel Briefings

Freely Travel Briefing: Issue No.1

This week we explore some lesser-known gems in New Zealand and unpack the nation’s freshly-opened travel bubble with the Cook Islands. We’ll also highlight the cultural shift happening in Bali while tourists have been cooped up at home and hear the AMA’s calls for an exact border reopening date.

Awesome experiences in New Zealand you probably don't know about

Photo by Mitch Cox.
We’re packing our bags (and masks) as soon as humanly possible and making our way to New Zealand.

The trans-Tasman travel bubble is now in full swing, which means Australians and New Zealanders can cross the ditch without having to quarantine, greatly renewing our hope for a sense of normality. If you’re planning a trip to NZ anytime soon (or as the locals call it, Aotearoa), we’ve thrown together a list of incredible but lesser-known things to do there. Be warned though, just one glance at some of the experiences we’ve picked and you’ll be booking the next flight over!

Full piece by: Gem Clarke on Freely

New Zealand has extended its travel bubble to the Cook Islands… Can we come too?!

Photo by: Cook Islands Tourism
Jacinda Adern said she has no objection to a triangular arrangement between Australia, New Zealand and the Cook Islands.

The trans-Tasman travel bubble is now in full swing, which means Australians and New Zealanders can cross the ditch without having to quarantine, greatly renewing our hope for a sense of normality. If you’re planning a trip to NZ anytime soon (or as the locals call it, Aotearoa), we’ve thrown together a list of incredible but lesser-known things to do there. Be warned though, just one glance at some of the experiences we’ve picked and you’ll be booking the next flight over!

Full piece by Torika Tokalu over at Stuff.co.nz

Tourism in Bali has stopped – and old ways of living are returning

Photo by: Artem Beliaikin
Many parts of Indonesia have been forced to confront the fact that their economy is overly dependent on tourism – and adapt.

There’s no better way to end a day exploring Bali on a scooter than by sinking a Bintang on the beach as the sun slips away over the ocean. In the wake of COVID-19, however, many parts of Indonesia have been forced to confront the fact that their economy is overly dependent on tourism – and adapt. In the milky waters between Nusa Ceningan and Lembongan, an old way of life is returning: that of the seaweed farmer.

Full piece by Matt Davis at ABC Foreign Correspondent

The Australian Medical Association says it’s time for the Australian Government to set an exact border opening date

Photo by: Fidel Fernando
Providing a firm opening date will help motivate Australians to get their COVID-19 vaccinations.

Details in the recently announced Federal Budget have revealed our country’s borders will likely stay closed off from the rest of the world until mid-2022. Dr Omar Khorshid – President of the Australian Medical Association – has called for an exact timeline, and says providing a firm opening date will help motivate Australians to get their COVID-19 vaccinations. Given that we have a Pacific playground to frolic in, we’re content to hold off on most international travel until it is safe to resume, but we’d also like to see the government make good on their promise to “step up” vaccination efforts.

Full piece by Sarah Martin, Melissa Davey and Elias Visontay in the Guardian Australia.

AROUND THE WORLD

Despite a worsening COVID situation in Japan, organisers of the Tokyo Olympics and the Paralympic Games Tokyo are staying optimistic and planning for both events to go ahead. In a statement released by the IOC, IPC, Tokyo 2020, Tokyo Metropolitan Government and the Government of Japan, all possible COVID-19 countermeasures will be deployed, and the highest priority will be placed on safety for the sake of all participants – including the hosting Japanese public. Pfizer and its partner BionTech have agreed to donate vaccines to competitors and staff.
Though we’re currently forbidden to leave Australia without an exception (unless we’re going to New Zealand), Thailand is currently accepting tourists from all countries on the proviso they get a special tourist visa, bring a PCR test and undergo a seven-day quarantine. According to Thailand’s Minister of Tourism Phiphat Ratchakitprakarn, provided the country continues to meet its vaccination goals, these quarantine requirements will be lifted in several areas by the 1st of July.
Amidst the easing of the UK’s lockdown restrictions, an experimental, one-off outdoor music festival has been held in Liverpool to investigate whether such events spread COVID-19. Delighted attendees went mask free, but had to test negative for the virus – and also promised to get tested again five days later. Though the event looked quite different from other festivals the country is famous for – like good old muddy Glastonbury – attendees said there was nowhere else they'd rather be!

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