Update as of 23/07/21: Quarantine-free travel from all Australian states and territories is suspended for 8 weeks.
If you're currently in Australia (except for in NSW) and you usually live in New Zealand, you have until 11:59pm (NZT) Friday 30 July to return home. If you return before 11:59pm (NZT) 30 July, you will not need to go into managed isolation (MIQ) when you arrive in New Zealand.
After 30 July, eligible travellers in Australia will need to book red flights, however this may not happen immediately. These travellers will also have to book a space in MIQ.
The suspension will continue for a further 8 weeks and will be reviewed in September.
How quarantine-free travel works
From 19 April, you can travel from Australia to New Zealand without having to enter a managed isolation facility when you arrive. Travellers from New Zealand can already enter some states in Australia without having to go into managed isolation.
All other normal entry requirements, for example immigration and biosecurity, apply.
Quarantine-free travel is only available when the New Zealand Government’s health preconditions have been met and when travel is low risk.
If community cases occur in New Zealand or Australia, the Government could pause quarantine-free travel for a time to assess the risk or it could suspend travel for a longer period of time. Travellers should have a plan and be prepared for travel plans to be disrupted.
Green flights and red flights
Quarantine-free flights are sometimes called ‘green flights’. A green flight coming to New Zealand from Australia only carries passengers who have been in Australia or New Zealand in the past 14 days. These flights will also be flown by crew who have not flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time.
A ‘red flight’ carries passengers from countries outside of a quarantine-free travel arrangement, or from within a quarantine-free area with passengers that do not meet the eligibility criteria. Red flight passengers must enter managed isolation or quarantine when they arrive in New Zealand.
When quarantine-free travel to New Zealand begins, people in Australia who meet the eligibility criteria can fly quarantine-free to New Zealand.
If you’re outside Australia, you can fly quarantine-free to New Zealand once you have met Australia’s managed isolation and quarantine requirements. You will also need to meet immigration rules and eligibility criteria.
Currently, quarantine-free travel is available on commercial aircraft only.
You must meet New Zealand immigration requirements
If you're travelling quarantine-free to New Zealand, you must meet New Zealand immigration requirements. You must:
If you require a visa in order to travel to New Zealand, you can apply for one, provided you are in and intend to travel from a quarantine-free travel area when you apply. For example, if you intend to travel directly to New Zealand from the Cook Islands, you must be in the Cook Islands to apply for a visa under normal immigration requirements.
Australian citizens can travel to New Zealand without applying for a visa or an NZeTA. However, travellers from Australia who are citizens of other countries may need to apply for a visa or complete an NZeTA.
Citizens from other countries can also apply for a visa to enter New Zealand.
Any visa granted for travel from within a quarantine-free travel area will only be valid for travel from within the quarantine-free travel area. If you travel outside of New Zealand or a quarantine-free travel area you will not be able to use this visa to re-enter New Zealand. For example, if you are granted a visa in Australia and then travel to Fiji, your visa will not allow you to re-enter New Zealand from Fiji.
Please ensure you return to this website before you travel to complete the declaration.
You do not need a pre-departure test
You do not need a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test for travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight.
The New Zealand Government has signalled that if there are community cases of COVID-19 in Australia and flights are paused, it may require people travelling to or returning to New Zealand to get tested for COVID-19 before travelling.
If there is a change in Alert Level in New Zealand or the situation changes in Australia, Covid19.govt.nz and news websites will announce it.
What happens to planes in mid-air if quarantine-free travel is paused?
The government of the country the plane lands in will decide what happens to travellers in this situation.
If this happens to you, you may be required to stay where you are or enter managed isolation until you are given permission to continue your journey. You will need to meet the costs of this. Check the terms of your travel insurance to see if you are covered. Be prepared for the possibility of this situation happening to you.
Community cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand or Australia could lead to the Government pausing any quarantine-free travel arrangements while it gathers information about the risk. You are responsible for managing any disruption to your travel due to COVID-19.
Have a plan if your travel is disrupted
Have a plan for what to do if your return to Australia is delayed. You may need to stay in New Zealand for longer than you planned, and you will need to meet any costs for this. Government assistance is unlikely to be available.
You may also need to enter managed isolation or self-isolation when you return to Australia.
You should get travel insurance
You should get travel insurance before you travel overseas. Read the travel insurance conditions and talk to your travel insurer if you are unsure about whether their policy covers COVID-19-related travel disruption.
For all the detailed information from the NZ Government regarding the Trans-Tasman Bubble please click here.
To read the NZ Government media release please click here.
Photo credit: Amelie Niklas Ohlrogge from Unsplash