New Zealand Welcomes Back Australian Neighbours Quarantine-Free!

New Zealand Finally Welcomes Back Their Australian Neighbours!

Lucky Aussies!

[UPDATE]: On 19 April, 2021, touching and tear-jerking reunion photos of families from Australia and New Zealand surfaced online. These photos were taken as Australian passengers took advantage of the newly opened travel bubble greenlit by the New Zealand government. As of writing, the arrangement between New Zealand and Australia is unlike any other travel bubble in the world as it gives visiting Australians a quarantine-free privilege when they arrive in New Zealand. 

That means that family and friendly reunions in the airport are once again possible. Even Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern reportedly said that the reunions were “something like a scene from [the movie] Love Actually.” To make things more heartwarming, the Australian travellers were greeted with the banner that said, “Welcome Whānau”, which in Māori translates to “Welcome, family.”

Don’t these pictures just tug on your heartstrings?

New Zealand and Australia’s travel bubble will officially start on 18 April 2021. Australia is allowing New Zealanders to enter the country quarantine-free, so New Zealand is returning the favour by allowing Australians to enter “Middle-Earth” quarantine-free as well. 

What we know so far

Image credit: 12019

According to CNN Travel, New Zealand will still have a set of conditions for Australian travellers. For one, Australians will not be allowed to travel to New Zealand if they’ve tested positive for COVID-19, or even present flu symptoms, in the last 14 days before their flight. 

Although the travel bubble will allow Australians to enter New Zealand without quarantine, NZ will still reserve the right to request passengers to quarantine upon arrival should an outbreak suddenly occur. NZ also reserves the right to suspend flights in case of new outbreaks and ask passengers to take PCR tests upon arrival. 

In a press conference on 6 April, Tuesday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern also stated that the Australian travellers will be boarded on “green zone” flights, which means that the airplane will not be carrying passengers who have been anywhere else but Australia in the last 14 days. Meanwhile, the flight crew should not have flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time. 

Also read: 5 Things You Need to Know About Living in Wellington, New Zealand

Prime Minister Ardern looks forward to this new tourism initiative

Image credit: Michelleraponi

This travel bubble has been in the works since October of last year. However, due to a spike of COVID-19 cases in Australia, New Zealand closed its borders to the Land Down Under even though New Zealand travellers could enter Australia with hardly any restrictions. Now that Ardern has greenlit travellers coming from Australia, New Zealand is one step closer to reviving its international tourism. 

“[This] travel bubble represents a start of a new chapter in our Covid response and recovery, one that people have worked so hard at. 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,” stated Ardern in the press conference. She also noted how this arrangement was the first of its kind in the world. “That is, safely opening up international travel to another country while continuing to pursue a strategy of elimination and a commitment to keeping the virus out,” she said. 

Also read: Air New Zealand to Trial ‘Vaccination Passport’

Unsurprisingly, we are all left speechless at how well New Zealand is managing the COVID-19 pandemic while keeping good relations with its neighbour country and uplifting its economy. Until we can visit “Middle-Earth” too, maybe we’ll just have to settle with watching Lord of the Rings

Featured image credit: StockSnap | Pixabay

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.


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