Confidence in Australia’s ability to successfully handle Covid-19 has been severely shaken after the Sydney outbreak.
New South Wales did anything but lockdown ‘hard and early’, instead opting for a lighter set of restrictions.
Just a few days later, it became clear that was the wrong call, as case numbers began to balloon.
The Sydney cluster has now spread across the border to Queensland and Victoria, meaning there have now been more outbreaks in Australia than me grappling with acne at high school.
Cases have continually escaped hotel quarantine and residents have yo-yoed in and out of restrictions.
When the travel bubble was formed just three months ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern went on the PR push to get Australians crossing the Tasman, openly suggesting that people make the most of the bubble for a holiday.
However, New Zealanders have learnt the hard way that a trans-Tasman getaway can be anything but relaxing.
Every single time there’s been a travel bubble pause, there’ve been Kiwis stuck in the middle.
In the worst-case scenario, travellers have been forced to spend an extra 15 days in Sydney, forking out for extra accommodation and food.
Others are now spending two weeks in hotel quarantine, free of charge, before being allowed back into the community.
The travel bubble has been operational for just 87 days.
However, for 71 per cent percent of that time, it’s either been partially paused, or completely on hold.
Now, it’s not our Government’s fault that Australia’s having a tough time with Covid-19, but until quarantine exemptions are organised for people coming and going from New Zealand, I’d bet many people will be putting off that trip to Melbourne.
Don’t get me wrong, the trans-Tasman bubble is godsend for many New Zealanders. Many of those heading to Australia are there to see dying loved ones or attend funerals.
Having the ability to make the trip quarantine free, when time is of the essence, is an extremely valued opportunity.
However, personally, I won’t be encouraging my family to visit me in Australia, as it might end up being a longer stay than originally planned.
Maybe it’s best to use up those days of annual leave locally in the meantime.