25 February 2021
Quarantine free travel from New Zealand to Australia has resumed
All of New Zealand is now at alert level 1. Face coverings are mandatory for all public transport and domestic flights in New Zealand. The Safe Travel Zone allowing quarantine free flights from New Zealand to Australia resumed on 21 February 2021. If you’re travelling on a green zone flight and have been in Auckland in the last 14 days, you’ll need a negative COVID-19 test in the 72 hours prior to departure. These conditions will apply until 1 March 2021.
News from 20th October 2020
A lot of New Zealanders plans to move to Australia had to be put on hold due to Covid-19. I’ve personally heard from a lot people who have had to deal with cancelled flights, furniture moved to Australia without the owners, money transferred over and then refunded and a lot of missed family events.
Finally we have good news… the New South Wales and the Northern Territory’s borders have opened to New Zealanders from October 16 2020, provided they have not been in an area designated as a COVID-19 hotspot in New Zealand in the preceding 14 days. This means New Zealanders can finally make the move they have been planning, without having to quarantine upon arrival.
This doesn’t help those who want to move to Victoria, Queensland, Western Australia, South Australia and Tasmania, but it does give us hope that it won’t be too long before New Zealanders can move there too.
However, a few New Zealanders put the Tram-Tasman Bubble at risk by and have angered Australian’s.
There were a number of New Zealanders who used the NSW open border to their advantage and after flying into NSW they boarded domestic flights into other states.
About 23 Kiwi travellers slipped into Western Australia despite the state having a hard border with overseas arrivals.
In Victoria, the state which has battled Australia’s worst Covid-19 outbreak, 65 New Zealanders entered the Garden State without the State Government’s knowledge, and another five into South Australia.
Let’s hope it doesn’t hinder other borders opening, so those who want to move can.
News from 15th October 2020
From the 16th of October New Zealanders will be able to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory in Australia without having to quarantine upon arrival. Provided they have not been in a designated Covid-19 hotspot in the 14 days before they fly out. A hotspot is defined as a place with a rolling three-day average of three cases a day.
On return you would have to complete 14 days of managed isolation in New Zealand and pay the $3100 quarantine fee.
These passengers must travel to Australia on a “quarantine-free flight”, which only carries those who meet the requirements.
You do not need to be a New Zealand citizen to travel to Australia quarantine-free if you meet the above criteria, but you will need a valid visa to enter Australia. New Zealand citizens do not need to apply for a visa before coming to Australia.
The arrangement is currently limited to travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory, but other states and territories may be added at a later date.
Before travelling to Australia, passengers must print and compete a Covid-19 declaration form and present it at check-in at the airport: https://www.homeaffairs.gov.au/covid-19/Documents/covid-19-declaration-form.pdf.
If passengers don’t present this form, they may not be able to board their flight.
On arrival in Australia, there will be green and red zones at the airport to separate passengers arriving on “quarantine-free” flights and those who must complete 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
If you travel on a quarantine-free flight, you will be guided through the green zone to complete all border clearance processes in the airport of arrival in Australia.
Air New Zealand chief executive officer Greg Foran said in a statement the airline has introduced “quarantine” and “quarantine-free” flights to Australia in line with the safe travel zone requirements.
The quarantine-free flights will be for travellers originating from New Zealand who are flying from Auckland to Sydney and are not required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.
Quarantine flights will be open to passengers who do not meet the safe travel zone criteria and will be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.
Air New Zealand is currently operating eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and would look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remaining flights will be quarantine-free.
Between October 16 and 24, the airline would operate three quarantine flights – on October 17, 22 and 24 – and all other flights would be quarantine-free. On October 22, the airline would operate both a quarantine-free and a quarantine flight.
The airline said it was working through flights from October 25.
Passengers planning to travel interstate beyond New South Wales would need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions and approvals to travel.
Customers would not be able to book onwards domestic flights via Air New Zealand due to Australian state restrictions.
The safe travel zone is currently only one-way, with passengers returning to New Zealand from Australia still having to complete 14 days of managed isolation on their return.
Australians are still not allowed to travel to New Zealand.
Officials from New Zealand and Australia are continuing to discuss all aspects of two-way trans-Tasman travel, which New Zealand remains committed to introducing as soon as it is safe.
The limited Trans-Tasman bubble will generally only benefit New Zealanders wanting to travel to Australia for emergencies and major events, along with those Australia-based Kiwis who have been in NZ during the pandemic and want to return home to Australia.
The extremely limited cap on flights and the exemption process for non-Australian citizens has made it difficult to get customers across the ditch until now.
News from 2nd September 2020
Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the “disaster” Covid-19 outbreaks in Melbourne and Auckland have set back plans for the trans-tasman travel bubble.
Scott Morrison, Australian Prime Minister, said he was still keen to establish travel arrangements with neighbouring countries and he hoped they could be in place by Christmas one media outlet reported.
But Peters today wasn’t so sure, though he wouldn’t be drawn on whether Christmas was too optimistic.
Peters said “We’ve been set back so hard. We had the Melbourne disaster and then we had our own disaster. If we can fix it up in the way that we’ve got confidence in the Australian system and they’ve got confidence in ours, then yeah we can do that.”
Peters said the travel bubble depended on both countries having tight borders.
“The protocols could be put in place in two days flat, quite frankly, but what you need to have ensured is the maritime and aviation surveillance in both countries is good enough to assure us that we’ve got a safe bubble.”
Peters said a team in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs was still working on the arrangements and he continued to think it was a “great idea”.
Read the full NZ Hearld article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12361510.
News from 24th August 2020
As the global aviation sector battles to claw back its lost billions amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Australians dreaming of a jaunt abroad could be dusting off their passports within the year.
Alan Joyce, Qantas CEO, gave his insights into when we will be heading overseas again. Earlier this week during a trading post in which the airline announced they’d made a $2 billion loss for FY20, Mr Joyce gave a rather optimistic forecast on overseas travel.
Mr Joyce predicts international travel to return by mid-2021, after the Federal Government put a ban on overseas travel in March.
But a small detail in his address points to a sign that longer overseas routes that require larger aircraft, such as A380s and the like, could be a lot further away, shedding some light on where Australians will be able to travel to first.
Read the full article here: https://www.nzherald.co.nz/travel/news/article.cfm?c_id=7&objectid=12358898.
I will continue to search Australia and New Zealand news websites and keep the information on this page up to date.
As soon as there are an major announcements on when the Trans-Tasman Bubble will happen I will email the newsletter database, so make sure you subscribe to our monthly newsletter (right side or bottom of screen).