Industry froths over bubbles

CALL them green lanes, priority channels or simply travel bubbles, the concept of bilateral travel agreements between countries which have managed to get a handle on COVID-19 is an intriguing possibility which continues to quicken the pulse of travellers eager to get away once again. Initially posited as an idea for Australia and New Zealand, bubbles are also believed to be under discussion for Fiji, Hawaii, Japan, Singapore, the UAE and some other South Pacific nations, and it’s hoped that something concrete will emerge in the coming weeks.

On a worldwide basis similar ideas are either being implemented or under consideration in the Baltics, the Nordic countries, the Balkans as well as other parts of Europe — but the big question as always is keeping a lid on coronavirus. As the Northern Hemisphere swings into its traditional summer holiday period pressure is on to open borders, but unfortunately any COVID-19 surge is likely to see countries take a more cautious approach — as has been evident locally with politicians of all persuasions rightly prioritising safety, much to the frustration of the Australian and New Zealand travel and tourism sectors.