Australians will be able to travel to New Zealand without mandatory quarantine from later this month, NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced.
In a press conference this afternoon, Ardern said her government’s cabinet is satisfied the criteria for the so-called ‘trans-Tasman bubble’ have been met, with quarantine-free travel commencing from April 19.
The trans-Tasman bubble means Australian artists will be able to tour New Zealand easier. Currently, local acts The Avalanches and Flight Facilities are locked in for Snow Machine NZ, which will take place in September.
In light of the country’s impressive record on community transmission, New Zealand acts are already permitted to travel to Australia quarantine-free, such as The Beths, who intend to tour Australia in June.
According to the ABC, Aussies travelling into New Zealand will be kept separate from other people flying into the country from around the world.
Were an outbreak to occur in one of Australia’s states, Ardern listed a handful of scenarios that could take place. For example, if a quarantine or border worker tested positive, the bubble would likely continue.
If there were a local outbreak, such as the recent cluster in Brisbane, a pause might be put in place. The bubble will be suspended indefinitely if there are a number of community cases with an unknown source.
“Those undertaking travel on either side of the ditch will do so under the guidance of flyer beware,” Ardern said during the press conference.
“People will need to plan for the possibility of travel being disrupted if there is an outbreak.”
Australians are not required to be vaccinated before travelling to New Zealand. However, Ardern said a decision will be made shortly whether Queenslanders in particular would need to be tested for COVID-19 before boarding a flight to New Zealand.