Yesterday marked a border milestone between Vanuatu and New Zealand as 154 seasonal workers arrived in Christchurch with the commencement of the one-way travel bubble from Vanuatu to New Zealand.
‘The new travel bubble establishes a series of new protocols in both Vanuatu and New Zealand to create this safe travel pathway,’ says Len Tarivonda, director of Vanuatu’s Public Health. ‘It is the first stage in testing the systems we have put in place in Vanuatu and ensuring our citizens are prepared for travel.
‘Naturally we are hopeful that this will lead to two-way travel between our countries – however we need to take it step by step to ensure our preparations are sound,’ says Tarivonda.
‘The tourism industry in Vanuatu is keen to start its road to recovery, and we see this as a small first step.’
The workers have all had at least one Covid vaccination to be allowed to travel and have received instruction on other Covid safety measures.
As at 26 September, 73,730 vaccines had been administered in the main urban centres of Vanuatu. In Port Vila alone, 62% have received the first dose and 40% are fully vaccinated.
The challenging process of vaccination in outer lying islands will commence in October.