The Safe Travel Zone from New Zealand to Australia launches tomorrow with Air New Zealand’s flight from Auckland to Sydney.
It’s more a funnel than a bubble at this state, though. Passengers travelling from New Zealand will be able to travel to New South Wales without the requirement for quarantine on arrival in Australia.
They will be required to complete a health declaration stating they have been in New Zealand the preceding 14 days. Health screening will also take place on arrival in Sydney.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran says in order for the airline to continue to carry passengers safely and identify passengers with travel not originating in New Zealand, it has introduced what’s known as ‘quarantine’ and ‘quarantine-free’ flights.
“The quarantine-free flights will be for travellers originating from New Zealand who are flying from Auckland to Sydney and are not required to quarantine on arrival in Australia. Quarantine flights will be open to passengers who do not meet the Safe Travel Zone criteria and will be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia.
“Flight NZ103 tomorrow will depart Auckland at 10:40am NZT and will be a quarantine-free flight. It is expected to arrive in Sydney around 12:20pm (AEDT).
“It’s been a huge undertaking to ensure we are ready for this one-way arrangement. We know passengers onboard may have been waiting a long time to get back to New South Wales. Around 90 percent of those travelling on tomorrow’s flight are booked to travel one-way.”
Air New Zealand is currently operating eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and will look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remaining flights will be quarantine-free.
Between 16 October and 24 October, the airline will operate three quarantine flights – on 17 October, 22 October and 24 October and all other flights will be quarantine-free. On 22 October the airline will operate both a quarantine-free and a quarantine flight. The airline is working through flights from 25 October.
Passengers planning to travel interstate beyond New South Wales will need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions/approvals to travel as these continue to change.
This Safe Travel Zone is a one-way arrangement and those returning to New Zealand will still need to quarantine for 14 days upon return, provide payment for quarantine and register their managed isolation accommodation requirements via the New Zealand Government’s Managed Isolation and Quarantine website.
Due to Australian State restrictions, fares beyond Sydney to destinations within Australia are not available to be booked via Air New Zealand.
Quarantine flights will not be able to be booked by people beginning their journey in New Zealand.