Last night it was announced that the quarantine-free travel bubble between Australia and New Zealand will be paused for 72 hours.
President of Travel Agents Association of New Zealand Brent Thomas told NewsTalk ZB the fact it was the whole of Australia was a bit of a surprise.
"The Government has indicated previously that there may be these pauses, obviously the surprise is that it is for the whole of Australia and the travel agents now will have to work with their customers to work through what that means for them in the coming days especially as we head into the school holidays."
With Victoria, Queensland, Northern Territory, Australian Capital Territory and New South Wales school terms ending on Friday June 25, the timing of this travel ban could be particularly unfortunate for many families, especially if it is extended.
"Let's hope it's only 72 hours, if it does go for longer and it impacts directly into the school holidays that will be a major disruption for airlines, hotels, car rental companies which travel agents will have to work through with their customers."
For travellers who had planned a trip to anywhere in Australia within the next three days, reorganising flights, accommodation and other tourism activities could prove to be a difficult and time-consuming task. Thomas highlighted the importance of using a travel agent in these circumstances to take the weight off traveller's own backs.
"I think this really does show the benefit of using the travel agents, not only do they have the knowledge and give the really great deals, but when it comes to these kinds of situations one phone call fixes it."
"People will not just have the airline, they will have things like car rentals, hotels, sightseeing, and that one phone call to the travel agent with all the knowledge that they have got can add so much value. So, we will certainly see a difference between those who have booked through travel agents and those who unfortunately have done it themselves, and now are going to have to deal with so many different suppliers, trying to work out how they can fix their holidays."
Air New Zealand Chief Operational Integrity and Safety Officer Captain David Morgan has issued a statement around flights between Australia and New Zealand that fall within the 72-hour travel ban.
"Air New Zealand is adjusting its transtasman schedule as a result of the New Zealand Government announcing a 72-hour pause to quarantine-free travel from Australia. A reduced number of passenger flights will continue to operate to Australia over the next 72 hours, while all passenger flights to New Zealand from Australia will be cancelled and operate as cargo-only services."
"We are in the process of contacting impacted customers, who are being provided the option to rebook, put their flight into credit, or receive a refund if they purchased a refundable ticket. We appreciate our customers' understanding and patience as our teams work to ensure they are kept up to date."
A spokesperson for House of Travel has said their travel agents are well prepared for situations like this and are well equipped to deal with the problems that come with this travel ban.
Hundreds of people have already been impacted and an extension to the original 72 hours could potentially bring that number up into the thousands.
There has not yet been a specific date or time set for when it will be announced whether the three-day ban will be extended or not but regular updates from both Australia and New Zealand's relevant boards are expected over the next two and a half days.