New Zealand preparing airport for travel bubble
Auckland International Airport in New Zealand will be separated into two zones in preparation for a potential air corridor between the country and the Cook Islands, it was announced on Monday.
Zone A would be for countries that have a "bubble arrangement" with New Zealand and for people who have been in the country for more than two weeks, reports the BBC.
This zone would have restaurants.
Zone B would be for travellers from countries without a safe travel arrangement and for those who would have to go into quarantine, along with others transiting through the airport.
People in this zone would be completely closed off from the rest of the airport, according to Radio New Zealand.
"Auckland Airport is a complex eco-system of organisations and we are working closely together to enable the safe and secure movement of travellers," Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood said.
"Auckland Airport is building the new internal walls to allow for the terminal to be separated, and we are working through the final stages of planning with border agencies and airlines to enable the physical and operational separation."
The Aviation Council, which represents large airports and airlines, said plans were underway for doing the same at the airports in Wellington, Christchurch and Queenstown.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said there needed to be a legal arrangement with protocols for prechecks for arrivals and departures, with health declarations, according to Radio New Zealand.
"Our borders are places where people with Covid are interacting - they are high-risk environments.
“We have to move through this very very carefully ... if we move to quarantine-free travel even with a place that is declared Covid-free such as the Cook Islands, we have to do it with absolute caution for New Zealand's safety and the safety of the Pacific,” she said.