Australia and New Zealand Travel Bubble

27 July 2021 update:

Quarantine-free travel from all Australian states and territories is suspended.

If you’re currently in Australia (except for in NSW) and you usually live in New Zealand, you have until 11:59pm (NZT) Friday 30 July to return home.

If you return before 11:59pm (NZT) 30 July, you will not need to go into managed isolation (MIQ) when you arrive in New Zealand.

After 30 July, eligible travellers in Australia will need to book red flights, however this may not happen immediately. These travellers will also have to book a space in MIQ.

The suspension will continue for a further 8 weeks and will be reviewed in September.

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Quarantine-Free Travel from Victoria to New Zealand (one-way) will be paused from 7.59pm NZT and be in place for 72 hours initially. As with previous pauses, it will be under constant review. If you are in Victoria, Australia and visited any of the locations of interest at the times and dates specified, you must not travel to New Zealand within 14 days from when you were at the location.  Information about locations of interest are provided on the Victoria Health website and are being updated regularly coronavirus.vic.gov.au/exposure-sites Airlines and border officials will be asking people to declare whether they have been at one of the locations of interest. 

People intending to leave Australia to another country through the Australia-New Zealand Travel Bubble note:

Australians who use the New Zealand travel bubble to fly onto the rest of the world should be aware of the below: Changes have been made to the Biosecurity legislation (Human Coronavirus with Pandemic Potential). The amended Entry Requirements reflect the health advice of the Director of Human Biosecurity that a declaration from individuals who have travelled to a third country outside the safe travel zone aligns with the purpose of preventing COVID-19 from being introduced to, establishing and spreading in Australian territory. It is designed to reinforce the current public health advice that Australian citizens and permanent residents should only be using the New Zealand safe travel zone exemption to travel to New Zealand unless they have a compassionate reason, or required urgent medical treatment not reasonably available in New Zealand or Australia, that required the person to travel to a third country. 

Compassionate reasons may include the death or serious illness of a close family member of the individual or of a close family member of the spouse or de facto partner of the individual. The intention of including compassionate reason is to provide for circumstances that could not have been known to the individual prior to their departure from Australia to travel to New Zealand. 

Australians travelling to New Zealand

Quarantine free travel from NZ has resumed for travellers under the following conditions:

  • they have been New Zealand for 14 days or more and not been in a designated COVID-19 outbreak location, and
  • are travelling to Australia on a quarantine-free flight.
  • Travellers do not need to be NZ citizens but must meet the above criteria, but will need a valid visa to enter Australia
  • New Zealand citizens will be granted a Special Category visa (subclass 444) (SCV) on arrival if eligible
  • Airlines determine which flights are quarantine free flights.

Quarantine-free travel from NZ is permitted to New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory, the Northern Territory, Queensland and Victoria. Other states may be added at a later date.

These conditions do not apply to NZ citizens who have been outside NZ or who have not been in New Zealand for the last 14 days or more.

New Zealanders travelling to Australia

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinta Ardern has announced that Australian travellers are able to enter New Zealand without mandatory hotel quarantine from 19 April 2021.

Similar to the New Zealanders travelling to Australia, Australians flying into New Zealand will go through a green zone at the airport and will be separated from travellers from around the world. The travel bubble will allow Australians to travel to anywhere in New Zealand.

Anyone with a flu or cold symptoms will not be able to travel and all passengers are required be wear a mask.

Travel to New Zealand (19 April 2021)

The Department of Home Affairs has amended the Trans Tasman travel bubble advice to confirm that VISA HOLDERS are permitted to travel to NZ and return to Australia without need to obtain a travel exemption or need to enter hotel quarantine upon return.

Travellers will need to be prepared for possible disruption to travel arrangements at short notice and to follow specific protocols before, during and after their travel. Information for travellers can be found on the Australian Smartraveller website and New Zealand’s Unite Against COVID-19 website.

New NZ border exception for families of temporary visa holders

On 30 April 2021, the New Zealand Government is introducing an exception to the border restrictions for the families of some temporary visa holders in New Zealand. This border exception is for the following three groups:

  1. Partners and dependent children who held (and continue to hold) a visa for New Zealand, but were unable to join their partner or parent in New Zealand before the border closed.
  2. Partners and dependent children of workers employed in critical health services.
  3. Partners and dependent children of highly-skilled workers.
WHM and Trans Tasman Travel Bubble

The Department is processing WHM holiday visa applications, in particular from applicants who are currently residing in New Zealand, facilitated by quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand which commenced on 18 April 2021.

The selection to prioritise a case is determined by the New Zealand residential address provided in the visa application form or a follow up email from the applicant or their representative. Visa applicants who are currently residing in New Zealand should provide their current residential address in New Zealand not their address in their home country.

Requirements for the border exception 

To be eligible for the new border exception, the person currently in New Zealand must have 12 months or more remaining on their visa.

The requirements vary for each group. Go to the Immigration New Zealand website to see the criteria and requirements for each group.

Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ)

Partners and dependants will have to pay the fees for their accommodation in MIQ. This can be booked through the MIQ website.

Travelling from Australia

On 19 April 2021, New Zealand opened quarantine-free travel with Australia. This means that people can travel from Australia to New Zealand without having to secure a place in MIQ.

Travellers from a QFT zone must meet New Zealand immigration requirements:

  • If you’re an Australian citizen, you do not need to hold a valid NZeTA or visa to travel.
  • If you’re from a visa waiver country or you’re an Australian permanent resident, you must hold a valid NZeTA to travel.
  • If none of the above applies to you, then you must hold a valid visa before travelling.

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