New Zealand travel bubble opens: Rules and costs explained
From the wonder of Cathedral Cove to the views from Roy's Peak, New Zealand is open for Australian business.
After 12 months of no travel beyond our own shores, Australians are finally able to dust off their passports.
New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that the two-way NZ travel bubble is officially opening from midnight, Sunday 18 April 2021.
This follows health minister Greg Hunt's amendment of Australia's strict biosecurity laws on 22 March to allow any Aussie who's been in the country for at least 14 days to fly directly to New Zealand.
Ms Arden said, "Our health response now gives us an opportunity to commit with loved ones again as we start a new chapter in our recovery."
How does the NZ travel bubble work?
All Australian residents are able to freely travel between Australia and New Zealand without the need to quarantine or apply for an exemption.
Passengers looking to cross the Tasman need to book a Green Zone Flight.
Alongside this, only travellers who have been in Australia for at least 14 days are allowed to fly and passengers are required to provide comprehensive contact information.
Other conditions include the following:
- No flying if you're showing cold or flu symptoms
- You must wear a mask when onboard the flight
- The NZ COVID Tracer app must be downloaded by all travellers
- There may be random temperature checks upon arrival in New Zealand
- Passengers entering from a green zone flight will be separate from other international arrivals at the New Zealand airports
Australians are also exempt from having to take the COVID-19 test prior to departure.
Travel will only cease if an untraceable case is found in Australia. In the event of an outbreak in either country, passengers are asked to do the following:
- Follow local COVID-19 guidelines
- Monitor symptoms
- Test before departure
- Isolate on arrival
- In some cases, enter managed isolation
How much will it cost you?
Qantas is currently one of the only Australian airlines offering the Trans-Tasman flights through April.
Fares with the flying kangaroo sat at $608 each way, but now you can nab those same seats for $358. That's just over 40% off.
"Restarting flights to New Zealand is about more than starting to rebuild our international network, it's about reconnecting families and friends and getting more of our people back flying again," Qantas domestic and international CEO Andrew David said.
"Hopefully, stories of missed weddings and birthdays on either side of the ditch will now be a thing of the past."
New Zealand's national carrier is also following suit with one-way fares kicking off from $318. That's 20% cheaper than Jetstar's $399 seats available in late May.
Virgin Australia has announced that its flights to New Zealand won't resume until 31 October 2021.
To ensure you're getting the best prices, head over to Skyscanner to book.
Wondering what the go is with travel insurance? Check out our dedicated guide here.
Arden wrapped up by saying, "Finally, this is an exciting day, the Trans-Tasman travel bubble represents a start of a new chapter in our COVID response and recovery, one that people have worked so hard for. That makes New Zealand and Australia relatively unique. I know family, friends and significant parts of our economy will welcome it, as I know I certainly do."
Prime minister Scott Morrison said, "Almost six months ago Australia opened up to New Zealand and I am very pleased that the New Zealand government has decided that the two-way travel bubble will commence Monday fortnight."
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