NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the details of a trans-Tasman travel bubble with Australia on April 6, saying the country’s director-general of health considered the risk of travel to Australia low and therefore quarantine free travel was “safe to commence.”
This means that Australians will be able to travel to NZ without needing to quarantine.
NZ cabinet accepted the director-general’s advice and expressed confidence in Australia’s and its own ability to manage the arrangement, Ardern said.
“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 told reporters.
However, Ardern made the point that travel to and from the two countries won’t be the same as it was pre-COVID.
She warned travellers to prepare for the possibility of an outbreak when arranging their travel across the ditch–that is, across the Tasman Sea.
“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.”
Australian’s will be able to travel to NZ from 11.59 p.m. on Sunday, April 18, NZ time, without needing to quarantine upon arrival.
Officials in both countries will now work closely together to manage outbreaks together. Ardern explained NZ’s “continue, pause, suspend” framework when it comes to regional outbreaks.
Rather than suspend all international flights, should a localised outbreak occur, flights to that Australian state may be paused or suspended depending on the risk.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said he was “very pleased” that the trans-Tasman travel route had opened up.
More to come.