International travel is back!

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: SHUTTERSTOCK

By Danielle Kutchel

It’s the news we’ve all been waiting for – international travel is back on the cards!

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on the establishment of a travel bubble with Australia on Tuesday 6 April.

This means that from 11:59pm Sunday 18 April, Australians will be able to travel to the land of the long white cloud, quarantine-free.

After a year of lockdowns and the erasure of travel plans, it’s likely to be welcome news for many.

Ms Ardern said in a press conference that for the purposes of the travel bubble, Australia would essentially be considered another region of New Zealand.

Any Covid-19 outbreaks would see restrictions reinstated but these would be on a state-by-state basis.

“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 in the same way as you could see life continue if that happened here in Australia,” Ms Ardern said.

“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 as if it was were going into a full lockdown.

“And if we saw multiple cases of unknown origin, we would likely suspend flights for a set period of time.”

Australia’s biosecurity laws have been changed so that citizens don’t need to apply for special permission to travel to our neighbour.

New Zealand is the only country that Australians don’t need an exemption to travel to.

There is also no vaccine requirement for trans-Tasman travel, however passengers will need to wear a mask on the flight and anyone with cold or flu symptoms will not be allowed to fly.