Currently Australia’s borders are closed. Only Australian citizens, residents and immediate family members can travel to Australia.
You can see if you are eligible to enter Australia on the Australia Government Department of Home Affairs website: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/coming-australia.
If you are eligible you may need to undergo enhanced health screening on arrival in Australia and then all arrivals will be quarantined for 14 days and state and territory travel restrictions may also apply.
Coronavirus (COVID-19) information for international travellers: https://www.health.gov.au/resources/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-international-travellers.
New Zealanders could be traveling to and from Australia as early as alert level 2 Jacinda Ardern revealed, as the trans-Tasman bubble concept edges closer to reality. This is great news for those wanting to move to Australia or come home to New Zealand.
Many New Zealanders are desperate for the borders to open. For families stuck either side of the Tasman, video calls are as close as connection gets.
If implemented, the arrangement would see Australia, New Zealand and possibly Fiji open their international borders exclusively to one another, following successful efforts from both nations to curb the spread of coronavirus. Read more here about Fiji joining the bubble – https://www.rnz.co.nz/international/pacific-news/417051/australia-backs-inclusion-of-fiji-in-trans-tasman-bubble.
The idea has garnered favourable responses from Jacinda Ardern and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. It is seen as an effective strategy to boost tourism and the wider economy in both countries amid the challenging economic impacts of COVID-19.
Jacinda Ardern told media in a press briefing from the Beehive on Wednesday that while “tight measures” at the border would remain across all alert levels, that doesn’t rule out international travel at level 2.
The comment is encouraging for those working in New Zealand’s $34 billion tourism industry, which has been battered by lockdown, travel restrictions and border closures during the coronavirus crisis.
Auckland Airport chief executive Adrian Littlewood, who is helping lead an effort to reopen our borders as soon as it’s safe, told Newshub Nation the countries have an opportunity to set “standards for travel restarting around the world”.
Margy Osmond, Australia New Zealand Leadership Forum Tourism co-chair, says a plan for how a trans-Tasman bubble would work could be ready in the next few weeks. Osmond’s hoping for a working strategy by the start of next month. “The plan with this is, although we know that it would take governments longer than that to make a decision about opening the borders, we need to be able show them the industry is ready,” she said.
While the Trans-Tasman bubble is viewed as a ‘favour’ to New Zealand by some Australians, the fact is that it will benefit both countries tourism industries, which are struggling at the moment.
The Trans-Tasman bubble could be in place by the end of the month, with temperature checks and masks considered to re-open the border with Australia again. Airports and airlines are hoping to test new safety measures in the next few weeks.
What was once a short flight is now a marathon journey with a 14 day quarantine either side. The bubble would mean that visitors travelling between the two countries would not have to go into quarantine for two weeks upon arrival.
Airlines are planning to have a working strategy by the beginning of June – and the plan with this is, although it is known that it would take Governments longer than that to make a decision about opening the borders, is to be able show that the industry is ready.
And for many, the sooner the better – to bring countries and families together again.
New Zealanders living in Australia are able to access payments from the Australia Government. If you were employed on the 1st of March 2020, you will need to talk to your employer regarding the below, as it is them who need to apply on your behalf.
Find information on the Australian JobKeeper payment, Employees Eligible for JobSeeker, Employers Eligible for JobSeeker, the payment process, payment timing, how to apply, the Australia Government Coronavirus information and support website for businesses and information from the NZ Hearld Article in this post: https://www.movingtoaustralia.co.nz/covid-19-help-for-new-zealanders-living-in-australia/.