Travellers from New Zealand will be able to fly directly into Melbourne and explore Victoria without undergoing quarantine from Monday, as the state moves to join the travel bubble already in place interstate.
Victoria has recorded its seventh consecutive day without any new coronavirus cases being reported and a number of restrictions are expected to ease on Sunday, including the removal of the “ring of steel” separating regional Victoria and Melbourne.
At a press briefing on Friday morning, Premier Daniel Andrews said he had written to Prime Minister Scott Morrison indicating the state would be happy for flights from New Zealand into Melbourne to resume from Monday.
“I don’t think it will be very difficult at all,” he said.
“I think Melbourne Airport will be very keen to have those flights land.
“It may not happen on the night, but that’s when we’re happy to have it happen and it will be a matter for airlines and the airport to make the practical changes to give effect to that.”
Mr Andrews confirmed there would be no quarantine requirement for New Zealand and travellers would be free to move around Victoria.
The Travel Safe Zone set up by the Federal Government last month restarted travel from New Zealand into New South Wales and the Northern Territory, with South Australia joining later.
Once New Zealand travellers arrive in Australia, they are able to to travel within the nation in keeping with the current domestic restrictions in place.
As a result of the rules, some New Zealand travellers had already been able to enter Victoria, but Mr Andrews said the change meant the “front door” would be open for New Zealanders to land directly into Melbourne Airport.
Quarantine-free travel from Australia to New Zealand is still not allowed, with the Government there saying it would only reopen its borders once that was judged to be safe.