New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to give the green light to the trans-Tasman bubble today - and Aussies could be holidaying in the country by the start of next week.

Quarantine-free travel is expected to start on either April 12 or 19, federal government and industry sources told The Australian.

New Zealand's Cabinet is meeting today to confirm a start date for the two-way travel bubble, with Ms Ardern expected to make the announcement this afternoon.

Trans-Tasman travel bubble could open within a week

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to give the green light to the trans-Tasman bubble today - and Aussies could be holidaying in the country by the start of next week.

Quarantine-free travel is expected to start on either April 12 or 19, federal government and industry sources told The Australian.

Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry tourism chief John Hart told the publication the "19th was pretty much definite", adding that is the date most airlines have been given.

New Zealand's Cabinet is meeting today to confirm a start date for the two-way travel bubble, with Ms Ardern expected to make the announcement this afternoon.

People can already travel from New Zealand to Australia without having to undergo mandatory quarantine, but the trans-Tasman bubble will allow people from both countries to be exempt from quarantine restrictions.

Last month Ms Ardern outlined a number of concerns she said needed to be resolved before the bubble opens, including the response to potential outbreaks, how contact tracing between the two countries will work and being provided with an up-to-date risk assessment from New Zealand's director-general of health.


Shocking footage of wild NRL crowd fight

Angry rugby league fans have been filmed throwing punches at each other in a wild fight in the stands during Parramatta's win over the Wests Tigers on Easter Monday.

Footage of the shocking incident was posted online on Monday evening, showing two Eels fans and a Tigers supporter involved in a violent altercation.

One man, wearing a Parramatta jersey, approaches another man, who is sitting in his seat and also wearing blue and gold. The person standing up then punches the other male in the head with his left hand.

That prompts the man who was hit to stand up and grab the other spectator by the throat, before both throw punches.

A supporter in a Wests Tigers jersey enters the picture, and takes a swing at the man who threw the first punch seen in the video clip.

A security guard then intervenes to break up the fight and separate the men.

New COVID-19 strain three times more deadly

The new coronavirus variant sweeping through Brazil, and spreading to other nations around the world, is proving to be up to three times more deadly for young people, according to research.

It is also spreading more quickly among younger people with cases among Brazilians in their 30s, 40s, and 50s are up by 565 per cent, 626 per cent and 525 per cent respectively since the beginning of January, according to Brazilian public health institute Fiocruz.

In comparison, during the same periods the increase in the overall population was much lower at 316 per cent, suggesting the virus infections are making "a shift to younger age groups".

There is also growing evidence shows that young people are not only more likely to get infected with the new strain - dubbed P. 1 - but also to die from it.

The Brazilian Association of Intensive Care Medicine said that the number of 18 to 45-year-olds requiring intensive care for COVID-19 in February to March this year was three times greater than in September to November 2020, and coronavirus-related deaths in that age group have almost doubled.

- Ben Graham

 

Originally published as Major overseas travel update expected


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