Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern held a media conference this afternoon providing details for the two-way travel bubble with Australia.
Jacinda Ardern says New Zealand’s successful management of COVID means quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia will start on Monday 19 April. She says the announcement is an important step forward in New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.
The Prime Minister and COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins confirmed the conditions for starting to open up quarantine free travel with Australia have been met.
The Prime Minister says, “Our team’s success in managing COVID-19 and keeping it out over the past 12 months now opens up the opportunity to reconnect with loved ones and resume Trans-Tasman travel.
Quarantine free travel will not be what it was pre-COVID-19, and those undertaking travel will do so under the guidance of ‘flyer beware’. People will need to plan for the possibility of having travel disrupted if there is an outbreak,” adds Jacinda Ardern.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says to ensure New Zealand remains on top of COVID-19, the Government has added further layers to manage risk at the border.
QFT – what’s required before you fly
To be eligible to travel from Australia to New Zealand under the QFT arrangement, travellers must:
- have spent the 14 days prior to departure in either Australia or New Zealand
- not have had a positive COVID-19 test result in the 14 days prior to departure; and not be awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test.
- provide comprehensive information (a travel declaration) on how they can be contacted while in New Zealand, so that health officials can contact trace them if required.
- answer questions about their health at departure – you will not be able to travel if you have cold or flu symptoms.
The QFT arrangement with Australia is not expected to greatly increase the number of vacant MIQ quarantine spaces for travellers from higher-risk countries as 500 spaces will be held in reserve in case of a resurgence on either side of the Tasman, and some quarantine facilities for low-risk travellers may be shut down.
All other border requirements will stay the same, namely:
- Strict pre-departure and day 0/1 testing requirements will remain in place for travellers from all countries except Australia, Antarctica, and most Pacific Islands.
- 14-day MIQ stays will still be required for travellers from all countries except Niue, the Cook Islands, and Australia.