Quarantine-Free Travel Between New Zealand and Victoria Is Set to Resume
Almost a month after it was suspended due to the recent COVID-19 cluster, the trans-Tasman travel bubble will reopen to Victoria.
When New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the two-way trans-Tasman bubble back in April — allowing Australians to travel to NZ without quarantining upon arrival — she noted that it could and would be paused if and when outbreaks occur. So, when Melbourne started to identify locally acquired COVID-19 cases back in May (which led to restrictions and a lockdown in response), the NZ Government stopped its arrangement with Victoria.
It has been almost a month since the NZ Government suspended quarantine-free travel between NZ and Victoria — and, with restrictions now slowly easing in the Australian state, NZ has announced that it'll reinstate the travel bubble. From 11.59pm NZST/9.59pm AEST today, Tuesday, June 22, quarantine-free flights will be able to resume. If you're a Victorian eager to head across the ditch, soon you'll be able to.
NZ public health officials now deem that "the public health risk from Victoria is low", although travellers are still advised to keep monitoring for symptoms — and to keep checking for Victorian exposure sites. You won't need to get a pre-departure test, though, so that's one less thing to put on your travel checklist.
Initially, the pause was put in place for 72 hours to give Victorian authorities time to investigate the initial cases in the cluster; however, it was extended when case numbers in the outbreak grew.
This wasn't the first time that the trans-Tasman bubble has been paused, with NZ suspending flights from Western Australia at the beginning of May in response to Perth's recent cases — and doing the same with New South Wales this month as well. In both cases, flights with NZ were given the all-clear to resume within days.
For more information about the status of COVID-19 in Victoria, head over to the Department of Health website. To find out more about the virus and travel restrictions in New Zealand, visit to the NZ Government's COVID-19 hub.
Published on June 22, 2021 by Sarah Ward