What you need to know about travel between Australia and NZ

But this is only one-way, with passengers returning to New Zealand from Australia still having to complete (and pay for) 14 days of managed isolation on their return. The trans-Tasman bubble will remove this requirement.

So when can the trans-Tasman bubble start?

That is what the New Zealand Prime Minister is set to announce on Tuesday and – after a few false starts – this time we can expect the date to be solid.

“I want it to be something we can stick to,” Ardern said.

Quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand could resume within days.

Quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand could resume within days.Credit:Getty Images

Two weeks ago, Ms Ardern outlined a number of concerns that needed to be resolved before the bubble could be put in place, including how to respond to outbreaks, how to trace and contact travellers from Australia, technical issues like transiting passengers, and receiving an up-to-date assessment on the risk from New Zealand Director-General of Health Dr Ashley Bloomfield.

But, should all these issues be ironed out, it is likely the bubble will be in place before the end of April.

When can I book my flights?

By the sounds of it, pretty much as soon as we have the start date.

If you look on the Air New Zealand website, the airline is offering daily flights between Auckland and Sydney and Auckland and Melbourne from Friday, April 9 – which could hint at a possible bubble start date, although the airline is not giving anything away at this stage.

“We would have to wait for any bubble announcement detail before confirming our schedule,” an Air New Zealand spokesman said.

Air New Zealand is also set to launch a new route to coincide with the opening of the travel bubble, offering flights between Auckland and Hobart.

Qantas and Jetstar are also set to ramp up their flights in time for the opening of the two-way bubble. A spokesperson said they would have more details to share following the announcement.

Will I need a vaccine to travel?

No. Ms Ardern said there will be no vaccine requirement for travel under the trans-Tasman bubble.


Will I be able to travel anywhere in Australia or New Zealand?

We will find out more about how this will work on Tuesday but Ms Ardern has said that they will be taking a state-by-state approach – meaning some states will be included in the bubble but not others.

Under the Morrison Government’s existing safe travel zone arrangement, Kiwis can enter New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland, the Australian Capital Territory, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory without having to quarantine, but not Western Australia.

Ms Ardern has also suggested there will be something similar to the alert level system used in different states in the event of COVID-19 outbreaks.

“We have a plan in the way we deal with Australia that will allow us to turn on and off different states depending on what is happening there,” Ardern said.

This means that in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak in Queensland – like what we saw happen last week – the government could quickly shut down travel to and from that particular state. But travel to other states, such as New South Wales and Victoria, could continue, as long as Australia has border controls in place.


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