After many a setback, the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble is finally open. And if you’re just so damn ready to hop on a plane that actually travels over water — well, like any good thing in COVID, there are rules attached.
The Trans-Tasman Bubble
First off, let’s clarify what the trans-Tasman bubble is. Essentially, it’s a way for us to travel between Australia and New Zealand — without that whole pesky quarantine thing. Unlike other international travel, this is being allowed as COVID is currently contained in both countries; there’s a low risk of the virus spreading, therefore making it safe to offer travel like this.
When The Trans-Tasman Bubble Begins
As for when the bubble actually begins? New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, confirmed in a press conference that it’ll begin at 11:59pm on Sunday, April 18 — New Zealand time. For us on Australian Eastern Standard Time, that’s 9:59pm on the same day.
According to The Sydney Morning Herald, major airlines have already hopped on board and upped the number of scheduled flights, from April 19.
The Australian Government Rules for Travelling to New Zealand
And unlike other flights where you need to get permission from Home Affairs to fly to certain countries, the biosecurity act has already been changed by the Federal Government to allow Aussies to travel to New Zealand — without seeking an exemption. Who doesn’t love a lack of paperwork?
You also don’t need the vaccination to travel between the two, a good thing as Australia’s current vaccination schedule is behind schedule by…just a couple of million.
New Zealand’s Rules for Travelling to New Zealand
What you will need if you travel to New Zealand, however?
You’ll have to wear a mask while flying, you’re required to download the NZ COVID Tracer app whilst in New Zealand and — this one’s not on you — but you’ll be kept separate in New Zealand airports from passengers from other countries, who are headed to experience the joy of hotel quarantine. You may also have to submit to a random temperature test in the airport.
So get booking — flight prices are dropping.