New Zealand will reinstate the trans-Tasman travel bubble with some Australian states at 11.59pm on 4 July 2021. But when flights from Australia to New Zealand restart, there will be new conditions including mandatory pre-flight COVID-19 testing.
The announcement means that from next Monday, it will once again be possible to fly to New Zealand from Tasmania, ACT, Victoria and South Australia.
“The health advice is that the spread of COVID-19 in these parts of Australia has been contained at this point,” New Zealand’s COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said yesterday.
But flights will not initially resume from WA, NSW, NT or Queensland to New Zealand because parts of these states & territories are currently under lockdown.
“NSW is currently seen as the most risk. Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory are higher risk than we are comfortable with. And South Australia, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria are consistent with our green flights category,” Hipkins said.
This would indicate that QLD, WA and NT would be the next states & territories that New Zealand will reopen to. But Hipkins also warned the resumption of flights could be further delayed if the situation in Australia deteriorates further.
Travel from NSW, QLD, WA and NT is currently suspended until at least 6 July 2021, but this will be reviewed again in the coming days. It is likely that the pause on flights from NSW to New Zealand will be extended even further.
Quarantine-free travel between Norfolk Island (an Australian external territory) and New Zealand is currently continuing as normal. Norfolk Island is also exempt from the pre-flight testing requirement for entry to New Zealand, although this is currently under review.
The New Zealand government suspended all travel from Australia to New Zealand last Saturday night. Since then, only limited trans-Tasman flights have been operating for passengers travelling from New Zealand to Australia.
Pre-flight tests become mandatory
When the trans-Tasman travel bubble reopens, travellers from Australia will be required to get a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours before departing Australia on an international flight to New Zealand.
The New Zealand government will only accept a PCR or RT-PCR test, and there are various requirements on what type of documentation will be accepted as proof of a negative COVID-19 test result. In most cases, you’ll need to pay for a test from a private pathology clinic as a simple SMS with your test result is not acceptable unless it also includes an image of your laboratory result form (something that is not provided by most public testing clinics).
It generally costs around $100-200 for a private COVID-19 test for the purpose of travel, and this will need to be paid by the traveller.
For more information about the New Zealand government’s requirements, see the official NZ government Unite Against COVID-19 website.
Join the discussion on the Australian Frequent Flyer forum: New Zealand Travel Bubble Announcement