New Zealand Will Start Reopening to Vaccinated Australians in the First Half of 2022
The trans-Tasman travel bubble has been on pause since July, but NZ has finally outlined when it'll begin reopening to Australia — and the rest of the world.
Australians, if a trip across the ditch ranks high on your wish list, the New Zealand Government has delivered some great news: across the first half of 2022, the country will start reopening its borders to international travellers.
Earlier in 2021, Aoetearoa and Australia had a brief international travel bubble, which allowed Aussies and Kiwis to fly back and forth between the two countries without quarantine. It was then put in pause in July after COVID-19 outbreaks in Australia — and that suspension was extended following outbreaks in New Zealand.
But, in a press conference on Wednesday, November 24, NZ COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that the country's international travel restrictions are set to lift in January — beginning with vaccinated New Zealanders and those who hold NZ visas early next year.
From Monday, January 17 NZ time, folks who fall into those categories will be able to re-enter NZ without quarantining in NZ's managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities — although a seven-day stint in self-isolation will be required. That move will then be extended to vaccinated travellers from other countries, including Australia, across a three-step process.
Here's how it's going to work:
From Monday, January 17 next year, double-vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers (such as visa holders) will be able to return to New Zealand from Australia, without a two week stay in MIQ facilities. This means Kiwis can travel to Australia, however briefly, and avoid MIQ on their return. However, they'll need to self-isolate for seven days after returning to Aotearoa, and must provide a final negative test before entering the community.
From Monday, February 14 next year, double-vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers (such as visa holders) will be able to return to New Zealand from all other countries — not just Australia — and also avoid an MIQ stay, except after travelling to countries deemed "very high risk".
The same safety precautions as above will need to be taken: they'll need to self-isolate for seven days and must provide a final negative test before entering the community.
From Saturday, April 30, all other double-vaccinated international travellers will able to enter the country, without an MIQ stay. This might be staggered on visa levels, Hipkins added during his press conference.
The requirement to self-isolate and provide testing upon return will be assessed during this period, but it's expected this will be probably be in place throughout May.
So, it isn't time to go packing your suitcases for a NZ getaway just yet, but it will be soon — and just in time for ski season (if you're already thinking about your winter plans).
Since the beginning of November, double-vaxxed Australians have been permitted to leave our shores for overseas holidays; however, exactly where you can head obviously depends on travel restrictions in other countries.
More information about NZ's international travel three-step plan and Hipkins' full statement can be found on the New Zealand Government website.
To find out more about the status of COVID-19 in Australia, head to the Australian Government Department of Health's website.
Published on November 25, 2021 by Sarah Templeton