Australia and New Zealand Travel Bubble

On 19 April 2021 the governments of Australia and New Zealand opened a quarantine free ‘travel bubble’ between the two countries. This was in response to the success achieved within the two countries to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and keep the case numbers low. So how does it work?

How does the travel bubble work?

Any person the has been in either Australia or New Zealand for at least 14 days can travel between the two countries by air without an exemption or the need to quarantine. This applies to people residing in Australia or New Zealand and includes passport holders from any country (standard visa requirements still apply).

How long will the travel bubble be in effect?

The travel bubble is indefinite however any changes in the COVID-19 situation in Australia or New Zealand could potentially suspend quarantine free travel without notice. Persons booking travel do so at their own risk with the knowledge that the travel bubble could close at any time.

Is there anything I need to do if travelling from New Zealand to Australia?

Any person travelling from New Zealand to Australia should complete an Australian Travel Declaration at least 72 house prior to departure. This allows contact tracing to take effect if persons travel with someone who tests positive to COVID-19. Persons who aren’t a citizens of Australia or New Zealand require a visa to enter Australia. Persons travelling to Australia by sea require a travel exemption even if they have been in New Zealand for 14 days prior to departure.

Is there anything I need to do if travelling from Australia to New Zealand?

Any person who has been in Australia for at least 14 days is automatically exempt from New Zealand’s travel restrictions and just needs to meet the standard visa requirements. If an onward flight is booked from New Zealand to another country by an Australia citizen or a permanent resident of Australia, then an exemption to depart Australia is required. Temporary visa holders do not need an exemption to depart Australia but can only return to Australia if they obtain an inbound travel exemption.

Are there any other countries that are part of the travel bubble?

At this stage Australia and New Zealand are the only countries taking part in the quarantine free travel bubble. There is the possibility that the bubble could extend to Pacific nations in the near future. There is also the possibility that the bubble could extend to Singapore. We expect that Australian government will gradually open international travel between Australia and countries with low COVID-19 case numbers and high rates of vaccination. Stay tuned to this blog for updates.

About the author

Nick Hansen

Nick has been a Registered Migration Agent since 2016 when he founded Hansen Migration. Since then he has helped many migrants obtain permanent residency in Australia and Australian citizenship.

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