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Travel Bubble Between Australia and New Zealand Update

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As of 11.59pm AEST Sunday, April 18, the travel bubble between New Zealand and Australia opens! Travelers who have been in either Australia or New Zealand for 14 days or more can travel quarantine-free within the bubble.

Under the travel arrangements, passengers travelling from Australia to New Zealand will board a green zone flight, which means:

  • Passengers on these flights will not have come from anywhere but Australia in the past 14 days;
  • Cabin crew will not have flown to any high-risk countries for a set period of time;
  • Passengers will be prohibited to travel if they present any flu or cold symptoms;
  • Passengers will provide detailed information on how they can be contacted whilst in New Zealand;
  • Masks will be worn on flights;
  • On arrival, passengers will arrive in green zone lanes, meaning no contact with international passengers going into isolation or quarantine facilities; and
  • Passengers will be asked to download the NZ COVID Tracer app.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Do I have to have had the Covid-19 vaccine?

No, you do not need to have had the Covid-19 vaccine to travel within the Australia New Zealand bubble.

What if there is a Covid-19 case?

If Australia records positive cases within the community, New Zealand will assess if it will continue, pause or suspend the travel bubble with Australia.

New Zealand has established three possible responses to a positive Covid-19 case:

  • If a case is linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and is well contained, travel is expected to continue,
  • If a case is not clearly linked and a state responded with a short lockdown, flights would likely be paused from that state, or
  • If there were multiple cases of unknown origin, flights would likely be suspended for a set period of time.

New Zealanders who are in Australian jurisdictions with an outbreak must follow local guidelines. Upon their return and depending on the risk, residents could either be asked to: monitor for symptoms, take a test before departure, isolate on arrival, or go into managed isolation.

You will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.

Can I travel onto other countries once in New Zealand?

Yes, once in New Zealand, Australians can then travel to other countries. However, anyone arriving into New Zealand or Australia from any other country outside the bubble must enter into a 14 day mandatory quarantine on arrival.

Please note, airlines are flying inbound with limited capacity.

Do I still need a travel exemption?

If you are arriving in Australia by air, and you have been in New Zealand for 14 days or more before you travel, you do not need to apply for an exemption to Australia’s travel restrictions. You are automatically exempt.

You will need to apply for a travel exemption before you travel to Australia if:

  • you have been in New Zealand for less than 14 days before your planned departure (including travellers who are transiting New Zealand), or
  • you intend to travel to Australia by sea.

Is Australia opening bubbles with other countries?

No other travel bubbles have been announced yet. However, the Australian Government is working on a potential travel bubble with Singapore.

Ethos Migration Lawyers will continue to provide updates as they become available.

For more information, see Department of Health: Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for international travellers

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