NEW ZEALAND - Will Open Travel Be Closed Again?

Arno Froese

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern warned people to prepare for their travel plans to be disrupted, however, if there is a coronavirus outbreak in either country.

“Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flier beware,” she said, using a colloquial term for the Tasman Sea that separates the two island nations. That could include an unexpected stint in mandatory hotel quarantine if conditions change midflight. 

Passengers traveling to New Zealand in the bubble will be required to have spent the 14 days before the flight in Australia. Airline crews will be required to work only on routes considered low-risk. 

Australia and New Zealand owe their success in suppressing the coronavirus in large part to having some of the strictest border controls in the world. In Australia, state governments have snapped their borders shut at short notice in response to outbreaks in neighboring regions, splitting families and stranding travelers en route. 

Australia’s half-bubble with New Zealand has been halted twice so far due to virus concerns, and authorities in both countries have said the same may happen again if new cases spread.

Palau, one of the few nations not to have recorded any cases of covid-19, was so far only allowing travel from Taiwan, where domestic transmission of the virus had been tightly controlled. Palau has also moved swiftly to vaccinate its small population of 18,000. 

Taiwanese Health Minister Chen Shih-chung said that the travel bubble was only possible because “both sides have controlled the epidemic well.” 

Australian and New Zealand officials hope their bubble arrangement will revive tourist businesses that have been hit by the border closures. Australia was New Zealand’s largest source of international tourists before the pandemic., 6 April 2021

Arno's Commentary

While this reports dates back to April 2021, we know that Covid-19 is not over yet. Again, it is emphasized by various international news sources that New Zealand and Australia applied some of the strictest prevention methods available, and thus have suffered the least infections and deaths.

Here are the figures from Coronavirus deaths per 1 million population as of 28 June 2021:

• Peru   5,893
• Brazil 2,432
• USA   1,831
• Israel     710
• Australia  35
• New Zealand 5

There are multiple other reasons for the low death rate in some countries compared with many European and North and South American countries, but one thing becomes clearer every day: restrictions strictly implemented clearly demonstrate the best results.

We again point to 1 Peter 2:13: “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme.”

From Revelation, we know that horrendous catastrophes will break forth on planet earth. When the sixth angel sounds his trumpet, we read: “By these three was the third part of men killed, by the fire, and by the smoke, and by the brimstone, which issued out of their mouths” (Revelation 9:18). The most horrible statement, however, is verse 21: “Neither repented they of their murders, nor of their sorceries, nor of their fornication, nor of their thefts.”

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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