New Zealand ‘open’ from April 19
Jacinda Ardern announces trans-Tasman COVID travel bubble
Posted on 06.04.2021
New Zealand will allow Australian travellers to enter the country without mandatory hotel quarantine from April 19.
“Cabinet was presented with advice today that conditions for opening up quarantine-free travel with Australia had been met,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.
Ms Ardern warned people to be prepared to have their travel plans changed at short notice, including landing and going into hotel quarantine.
“Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware,” she said.
“People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.”
When does it start?
Australians will be allowed to travel across the ditch quarantine-free technically from 11:59pm on Sunday, April 18 New Zealand time, so really from Monday, April 19.
As for kiwis looking to come to Australia, the one-way bubble that began last October is still in place, with all states and territories except for Western Australia taking part.
Like New Zealanders coming to Australia, anyone flying into NZ will go through a “green zone” in airports and will be kept separate from other people flying in from around the world.
Where does it go?
The bubble means Australians can fly to anywhere in New Zealand, as long as there are flights operating.
It’s hoped people will take the opportunity while borders to other countries are shut to travel around NZ and inject some much-needed money into its economy.
According to Tourism NZ, in a normal year Australian tourism contributes $NZ2.7 billion ($2.5 billion) to the economy and this year, if everything bubble-wise goes smoothly, they’re hoping it’ll be around $NZ1 billion.
What happens if there’s a COVID case here or in NZ?
This was really one of the sticking points for Ms Ardern, who had previously said she wouldn’t open up to a full bubble until she was sure she could keep New Zealanders safe.
Ms Ardern said once the bubble was restarted travellers coming to NZ from an outbreak or previous outbreak area may be asked to do one of these things, “depending on the risk”:
- monitor symptoms
- take a test before they leave
- isolate on arrival
- go into managed isolation for 14 days, but only in “some situations”
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