Featured image: Dust off those passports, New Zealand is calling. Photo: Fraser Clements
It’s the save-the-date we’ve been waiting for. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has just put international travel back on the table by announcing the two-way Trans-Tasman travel bubble will commence 11.59pm on 18 April, 2021. It means quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand for the first time in over a year, provided passengers comply with a few Covid-safe rules and stand prepared to change their plans if required.
You won’t need to be vaccinated but you will need to be well, wear a mask on the flight, and use the NZ Covid tracer app in New Zealand. Bookings will be made on ‘green zone’ flights, as Prime Minister Ardern explained. “That means there’ll be no passengers on that flight who have come from anywhere but Australia in the last 14 days,” she said. “They will also be flown from crew who have not flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time.” On arrival, you’ll be ushered through special airport green zones to further preserve the Aussie-only connection.
Although Prime Minister Ardern flagged a “flyer beware” policy with the ongoing possibility of snap lockdowns and border closures, the mood was upbeat. “This is an exciting day, the trans-Tasman travel bubble represents the start of a new chapter in our Covid response and recovery,” she said. “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.”
Please excuse us as we dig out our passports and start planning that New Zealand ski trip.