Australia and New Zealand Safe Travel Zone

15 Dec 2020 Update: 

Jacinta Arden has just announced that the New Zealand government has agreed to establish a trans-Tasman bubble with Australia. She has advised that there are still a lot of work to be done before they can make a final announcement.  For this reason, there is currently no date for the travel period, but we expect to receive an update by early next year.

The federal government has announced on 2 October 2020 a Safe Travel Zone (travel bubble) with New Zealand. Australia and New Zealand have worked together since the beginning of COVID-19. The establishment of the Safe Travel Zone will allow people to reunite with friends and families, offer opportunities for workers to get back to work and increase tourism.

In the announcement, the Deputy Prime Minister The Hon Michael McCormack MP has said that ‘The Australian Government’s Department of Health has undertaken a public health risk assessment of COVID-19 in New Zealand, which indicated that New Zealand posed a low risk of COVID-19 transmission to Australia.’ As such, travellers from New Zealand will be able to travel to Australia without having to quarantine. This has begun from Friday, 16 October on the premise that travellers have not been in a COVID-19 hotspot in New Zealand in the past 14 days.

Currently, there are no COVID-19 hotspots in New Zealand. However, this is being closely monitored. The government determines the hotspot by using a three-day rolling average of three locally acquired cases per day.

New Zealanders travelling to Australia

To travel to Australia, the passenger must be on a quarantine-free flight from New Zealand. For example, Air New Zealand has announced ‘quarantine’ and ‘quarantine-free’ flights, and we encourage that you check this before traveling.

Non-New Zealand citizens may also travel to Australia provided that they meet the requirements and have a valid visa.

The government has announced that the first stage of the quarantine-free travel will be with New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory and Victoria. However, this may expand in the future.

There will be increased border security at the airport to ensure that information is collected on arrivals to assist with contact tracing if necessary.

Three flights from New Zealand arrived at Sydney Airport earlier on 16 October 2020 carrying international passengers who, for the first time in seven months, will not need to quarantine upon arrival.

There will be a total of 16 flights between the two countries each week, with Jetstar and Qantas joining Air New Zealand and Qatar Airways in advertising the trans-Tasman flights.

Australians travelling to New Zealand

All travellers to New Zealand have to be tested for COVID-19 and a 14-day quarantine or isolation. This includes Australian citizens or permanent residents. However, Australian citizens or permanent residents ordinarily resident in New Zealand are not required to request for travel before traveling. Nonetheless, you may be asked to provide documentations at the airport to show that you live in New Zealand. Documentations may include:

  • New Zealand driver licence
  • Evidence of tax residency with Inland Revenue
  • Employment documents
  • Utility bills
  • Rate Notices

Related story on ABC News: Seventeen passengers from New Zealand who travelled to Sydney under the trans-Tasman bubble arrangements have been caught entering Melbourne.


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