Australia approves quarantine-free travel for the South Island

Author
Vita Molyneux, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 17 Oct 2021, 2:13PM
(Photo / NZ Herald)
(Photo / NZ Herald)

Australia approves quarantine-free travel for the South Island

Author
Vita Molyneux, NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Sun, 17 Oct 2021, 2:13PM

Australia has approved quarantine-free travel from the South Island, beginning on Tuesday.

Australia's chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly said in a statement on Saturday from 11.59pm on Tuesday, all fully vaccinated people living in the South Island can travel to Australia if they provide a negative PCR test within 72 hours of departure.

Travellers will also have to declare they've not been in the North Island for any period of time over the last 14 days.

Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geaghrty says the loosening of restrictions will be welcomed by many New Zealanders.

"This is great news for all of the visitors to New Zealand who have been unable to travel home since the bubble closed in August. The airline is seeking clarification from the Australian Government on how this will work and will have more to share in the coming days."

Kelly says the pause on travel from anywhere except the South Island will continue until 11.59pm on October 31 as Delta continues to spread outside of Auckland.

All flights from the North Island will be classed as red-zone, meaning passengers must isolate for 14 days upon their arrival.

"The Chief Medical Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) will continue to monitor the situation in New Zealand and provide revised guidance as further information becomes available. A further review of the travel arrangements will be undertaken on Saturday 30 October 2021."

A New Zealand Government spokesperson said the news does not affect Aotearoa's border settings.

"New Zealand's border settings remain the same at this stage. Anyone travelling overseas would need to go through an MIQ facility on return.

"However we are keeping our border settings with Australia under regular review."