Government extends Victoria travel ban - but Kiwis can fly home next week

Publish Date
Thu, 3 Jun 2021, 4:46PM
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. (Photo / NZ Herald)
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Government extends Victoria travel ban - but Kiwis can fly home next week

Publish Date
Thu, 3 Jun 2021, 4:46PM
New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel pause with Victoria will be extended another six days, the Government has announced.

But New Zealand citizens, Australian citizens normally resident in New Zealand, people with humanitarian exemptions and critical workers who are stranded in Victoria will be able to fly to New Zealand from 11:59pm on June 8.

Anyone boarding these flights will need to have a negative pre-departure test taken less than 72 hours before departure.

The commencement of flights recognises that by then, people currently in Victoria will have completed 14 days in lockdown - the same amount of time as as MIQ stay.

New Zealand’s quarantine-free travel pause with Victoria will be extended another six days, the Government has announced.

But New Zealand citizens, Australian citizens normally resident in New Zealand, people with humanitarian exemptions and critical workers who are stranded in Victoria will be able to fly to New Zealand from 11:59pm on June 8.

Anyone boarding these flights will need to have a negative pre-departure test taken less than 72 hours before departure.

The commencement of flights recognises that by then, people currently in Victoria will have completed 14 days in lockdown - the same amount of time as as MIQ stay.

Returning travellers will also have to sign a health declaration before departure to confirm they have not been at a location of interest.

New Zealand officials have assessed the current risk as medium for Melbourne but decreasing for the greater Melbourne area.

But by June 9, New Zealand health officials say the risk to public health of people returning from Melbourne will be low.

Officials are continuing to work on details of how seats will be allocated if demand for these flights exceeds supply. These details will be provided on the Covid-19 website in coming days.

Anyone who was in Victoria between May 20-25 but is now in another Australian state can fly to New Zealand, but will need to test negative 72 hours before departure.

This includes people from Victoria who are outside the Greater Melbourne lockdown area. To get on a quarantine-free flight, they will need to travel to another state and test negative less than 72 hours before departure.

Anyone who is currently in any part of Australia but has been to any of the locations of interest in Victoria or New South Wales at the times specified cannot travel to New Zealand within 14 days from when they were at the location.

People who have been at a location of interest at the times specified are asked to continue following health advice from Victoria and New South Wales regarding isolation and testing.

Returning travellers will also have to sign a health declaration before departure to confirm they have not been at a location of interest.

The announcement comes after the Victoria lockdown was extended for parts of the state after new community cases were confirmed. It was originally set to end at 11.59pm on June 3, but now will be extended for another seven days.

Victoria announced three new Covid-19 cases on Thursday, bringing the state's cluster to 63.

Melbourne residents have also been warned even if the lockdown is lifted next week, the city will still be forced to live with weeks of tough restrictions until the outbreak is completely under control.

While the five reasons to leave home may be scrapped, rules could be kept in place around mask wearing, strict capacity limits for businesses and venues, limits on how many guests can attend weddings and funerals and household and public gathering limits.