Australia and New Zealand travel bubble to open April 19.
New Zealand has announced Australians can enter the country quarantine-free in two weeks time.
NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced conditions for opening up quarantine-free travel with Australia “had been met”.
“The Director-General of Health considers the risk of transmission of COVID-19 from Australia to New Zealand to now be low, and that quarantine-free travel would be safe to commence,” she said on Tuesday.
“Cabinet accepts that advice and is confident not only in the state of Australia but also in our own ability to manage a travel arrangement.”
She warned Australians would “need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak”.
“But for the planning ahead we want to share as much information as we can about our decision-making,” she said.
“Just as we have our alert level settings for managing cases in New Zealand, we will also now have a framework for managing an outbreak in Australia.
“In many ways we will treat Australia as a region of our own when making decisions on restrictions.”
Ms Ardern confirmed that if a case was found that was quite clearly linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and was well contained, travel would continue in the same way.
However, if a case was found that was not clearly linked to the border, and a state responded by a short lockdown to identify more information, NZ would pause flights from that state in the same way it would stop travel in and out of a region in New Zealand as if it was were going into a full lockdown.
“If saw multiple cases of unknown origin, we would likely suspend flights for a set period of time,” Ms Ardern said.
“When travel does resume and they’re able to come to New Zealand again, they could be asked to do one of four things depending on the risk. Either, simply monitor their symptoms on return… take a test before they depart.. isolate on arrival. Or… in some situations, go into managed isolation for up to 14 days.”
The Morrison Government announced last month Australians would not have to apply for exemptions to go to NZ, but would still need to quarantine upon arrival.
A one-way New Zealand travel bubble was put in place in October, allowing New Zealanders to travel to Australians without quarantine.
The pausing of that bubble on numerous occasions prompted criticism from Ms Ardern, who said such opening and closing of borders added uncertainty to possible two-way travel.
Today’s announcement marks the first two-way travel bubble since Australia closed its border in May.
Australia and New Zealand travel bubble will open April 19th.
New Zealand is set to join WA’s safe list
New Zealand is set to join WA’s safe and sensible controlled border as a ‘very low risk’ jurisdiction from 12.01am, Monday April 19, pending no further outbreaks.
This means travellers from New Zealand will be able to enter WA without having to quarantine, subject to strict conditions.
To prohibit border-hopping from other countries outside of Australia and New Zealand, currently arrivals, outside of Australia, entering New Zealand must also complete 14 days of quarantine similar to arrangements in place for international arrivals into Australia.
Travellers entering WA from ‘very low risk’ jurisdictions must:
- complete a mandatory G2G PASS registration and declaration prior to travel
- on arrival at Perth Airport, complete a health screening
- scan your G2G PASS to exit the airport.
For full Western Australia travel restrictions visit wa.gov.au.
Watch: Jacinta Andrews Post-Cabinet press conference
For some New Zealand travel inspiration on SoWhereNext.com.au.