Quarantine free trans Tasman bubble will officially launch on April 19

Early morning at Coronet Peak, New Zealand.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced the trans Tasman bubble commencement date this afternoon.

Australian and New Zealand travellers will be able to travel between the two countries quarantine free from 11.59pm on April 18. Australia has already allowed New Zealand travellers to enter the country without quarantine since late last year, however this will now serve both ways.

The conditions for opening up quarantine travel between the two countries have been met and the New Zealand cabinet has agreed to the travel arrangement.

“Cabinet believes any residual risk can be managed with pre-departure testing if needed,” said the New Zealand Prime Minister with regards potential Covid clusters.

Quarantine free travel will start in a fortnight. Travel is offered under “flyer beware” with the possibility of disrupted travel if there is an outbreak.

“Once we know about a case in Australia we will have three possible responses when it comes to flights and access to our border,” explained Prime Minister Ardern about the established travel framework of continue, pause or suspend.

“For instance, if a case is found that is quite clearly linked to a border worker in a quarantine facility and is well contained, you’ll likely see travel continue.

“If, however, a case was found that was not clearly linked to the border, and a state responded by a short lockdown to identify more information, we’d likely pause flights from that state in the same way we would stop travel into and out of a region in New Zealand.”

Travellers must follow guidelines given to them locally and travellers will travel within different zones dependent on where they have come from and where they are going to and more.

More to come including restrictions and travel requirements. 

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Rachael Oakes-Ash is the name behind @misssnowitall and the founder of SnowsBest.com. A long time travel and lifestyle journalist and ski writer, she's been published in ESPN, TIME, Wallpaper*, Action Asia, Inside Sport, Australian Financial Review, Emirates Open Skies, Conde Nast Traveler and more. She was the Fairfax snow blogger from 2007 to 2017 and the Southern Hemisphere editor for OnTheSnow. Rachael is also a documentary producer, author, radio announcer and humorist.