Quarantine free travel deemed Trans-Tasman success

Venkat Raman

Venkat Raman

Auckland, April 19, 2021

         

           File Photo of Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison in Sydney on February 28, 2020 (PMC Media)

 

Air New Zealand reports high demand for seats on routes to and from Australia

Quarantine-free travel between Australia and New Zealand began at midnight today (April 19, 2021) after several months of border closure because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

While the first flight to Australia landed in Sydney on time, the return flight has been delayed by more than one hour due to what the officials described as ‘incomplete completion of the required documentation required by the New Zealand government.’

Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison, respectively Prime Ministers of New Zealand and Australia, said in a joint statement that both countries have fulfilled their commitment to establishing two-way quarantine free travel, with New Zealand removing the quarantine requirement for eligible travellers from Australia.

World-leading Arrangement

The Statement said that Trans-Tasman quarantine free travel is a world-leading arrangement that opens up travel while aiming to keep Covid out of the community.

“It reflects the sustained efforts to date of both countries in managing the virus. We ar proud of the outstanding success achieved by the people of Australia and New Zealand in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic. This success, and our confidence that both countries have robust processes in place to ensure travel can be undertaken safely, has made quarantine free travel possible,” they said.

Mr Morrison said that travel across the Tasman demonstrates the special relationship between the two countries and the long history of freedom of movement between Australia and New Zealand.

                Qantas and Air New Zealand, the National-Flag carriers of the two countries (9 News Australia)

Growing relationship

Mr Morrison said that fulfilment of the commitment will allow many friends and family across the Tasman to re-unite for the first time in over a year.

“Our countries share a Single Economic Market, and two-way travel across the Tasman will help drive the economic recovery for both countries while we continue to navigate the Covid-19 global pandemic, especially in the travel and tourism sectors. It will also enable closer trans-Tasman business engagement, which will drive broader economic activity in both Australia and New Zealand,” he said.

According to Mr Morrison, today’s milestone is a win-win for Australians and New Zealanders, boosting the two economies while keeping people safe, in time for ANZAC Day.

Ms Ardern said that both countries have done a remarkable job in protecting our communities from Covid and two-way flights are an important step in our road out.

Welcome and Enjoy

“It is truly exciting to start quarantine-free travel with Australia. Be it returning family, friends or holidaymakers, New Zealand says welcome and enjoy yourself. The bubble marks a significant step in both countries reconnection with the world and it’s one we should all take a moment to be very proud of. The commencement of two-way travel follows Australia’s decision in October 2020 to allow quarantine free travel from New Zealand,” he said.

Travel to Pacific countries

Australia and New Zealand are also exploring opportunities to extend quarantine-free travel to other countries in the Pacific, when it is safe to do so, reflecting our close ties to the Pacific and our commitment to supporting their recovery.

“Ensuring the safety of our populations continues to be a primary consideration in managing our borders. In this evolving pandemic, the risks of quarantine-free travel will be under constant review,” Ms Ardern said.

Warning to travellers

Travellers must 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 and New Zealand’s Unite Against Covid-19 websites.

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