Australia to welcome Kiwis when travel bubble opens on 16 October

Australia to welcome Kiwis when travel bubble opens on 16 October

Australia has had a hard border with New Zealand for many months now to slow the spread of COVID-19, but from 16 October tourists from across the Tasman will be able to visit NSW and NT.

As announced this afternoon by Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack, a Trans-Tasman travel bubble has been established, meaning New Zealanders will not have to spend two weeks in mandatory quarantine on arrival in Australia.

The arrangement will implement the Federal Government's definition of a 'hotspot', meaning only those who have not been in an area which has recorded more than three cases across three days can arrive freely.

However, the bubble is only one-way at this point in time, meaning Australians will not be allowed to visit New Zealand.

From 12.01am on 16 October New Zealanders will be allowed to visit states that have subscribed to the Federal Government's definition of a COVID-19 hotspot.

As such, the only jurisdictions that will enjoy the benefits of this limited travel bubble are New South Wales and the Northern Territory.


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South Australia is expected to be the next state to subscribe to the Commonwealth's definition of a hotspot. Once implemented, New Zealanders will also be allowed to travel to SA.

"South Australia stands ready to participate as well, I've spoken to Stephen Marshall in the last half an hour and they will probably be the next cab off the rank," said Deputy PM McCormack.

"The Commonwealth definition has been developed by the Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly and is robust and proportionate.

"Establishing quarantine free travel to Australia from New Zealand will free up space for around an additional 325 passengers a week to enter quarantine in Sydney."

With regard as to when Australians may be able to travel freely into New Zealand McCormack says that decision is NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern's to make.

"It is very much in Prime Minister Ardern's court at the moment," said McCormack.

"We will make sure that there's two way travel."

Updated at 1.56pm AEST on 2 October 2020.

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