It’s the announcement we’ve been waiting for – New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a two-way, quarantine-free trans-Tasman travel bubble will start from 11.59pm on Sunday, April 18. The decision comes after coming close several times only to have the announcement delayed after minor outbreaks on both sides of the Tasman.
“While we absolutely wish to encourage family and friends to reunite and visitors to come and enjoy the hospitality New Zealand is ready and waiting to offer, those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware,” says Ms Ardern.
“People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.”
Ms Ardern said New Zealand now has a framework for managing an outbreak in Australia. “Once we know about a case in Australia, we will have three possible responses when it comes to flights and access to our border.
“We’ve captured these with a framework based on continue, pause, or suspend. For instance, if a case is found that is quite clearly linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and is well contained, you’ll likely see travel continue in the same way. If, however, a case was found that was not clearly linked to the border, and a state responded by a short lockdown to identify more information, we’d likely pause flights from that state in the same way we would stop travel into and out of a region in New Zealand as if it were going into a full lockdown.”
Ms Ardern said if New Zealand saw multiple COVID-19 cases of unknown origin, the country would likely suspend flights for a set period of time.
While in New Zealand, travellers will need to provide information on how they can be contacted while in New Zealand and they will also be asked to download and use the NZ COVID Tracer app.
When travellers fly, they will be required to wear a mask on the flight but Australians won’t be able to travel if they have cold or flu symptoms.
On arrival, passengers will be taken through “green zones” at the airport which means there’ll be no contact with those arriving from other parts of the world.
“We expect flights and packages to be in hot demand,” says MTA-Mobile Travel Agents CEO – Don Beattie “As well as the many people who haven’t seen friends and family for over a year, there is also pent-up demand for an overseas break and New Zealand, with its laid back nature and world-class food and wine, maybe just the tonic!”
Contact your MTA Mobile Travel Advisor to book your New Zealand getaway now.