New Zealanders stranded in Australia due to a pause on the trans-Tasman travel bubble will soon be able to return home from some states.
From Monday, travellers from Victoria, Tasmania, South Australia and ACT will be welcomed back across the ditch.
Jacinda Ardern’s government slapped a whole-of-country suspension on quarantine-free travel last Saturday night.
The pause was intended to last 72-hours, but that was before community transmission sent several Australian states and territories into lockdown.
Australian travellers will be required to produce a negative test before travelling, while travel from NSW, WA, NT and Queensland will remain banned until their situations improve.
- For details on how to complete the pre-departure test click here.
All four of those places have ordered their capital cities into lockdown after reporting multiple community cases in the past week.
The border with NSW had already been closed due to a burgeoning COVID cluster, which had grown to a total of 149 cases by Tuesday.
The door will be closed to NSW travellers until at least July 7.
COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins said Victoria, Tasmania, SA and ACT already fulfilled the “green zone” requirements that would allow for the return of quarantine-free travel.
However, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said cabinet decided to defer openings until Monday to introduce the new pre-departure testing requirement.
“We see that as key to maintaining the confidence of New Zealanders in the bubble and ensuring that at periods of uncertainty across states, it gives us that extra layer of protection,” she said.
“That extra bit of time does allow us to get a better sense of what’s happening across Australia.”
The NZ government has been operating a “flyer beware” model, with travellers asked to shelter in place when restrictions change.