Covid 19 Delta outbreak: NSW, Victoria quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to resume for the vaccinated

Fully vaccinated travellers from New Zealand will be able to visit New South Wales and Victoria without the need for quarantine.

Australia is hoping for a Kiwi tourist boom this Christmas, as quarantine-free travel from New Zealand is set to resume from Monday.

The promised transtasman influx comes as thousands of Australians are readying themselves to jet off overseas from Monday by making sure their passports are up-to-date.

Last night, Australia’s chief medical officer Professor Paul Kelly announced the need for arrivals from New Zealand to spend 14 days in quarantine would end from 11.59pm today.

In a statement on the government’s website, Kelly said Australia’s rapidly increasing vaccination coverage had put the country in good stead to take the next steps in reopening its borders to the world.

Green zone flights across the Tasman were suspended in August after the Delta outbreak in Auckland.

Quarantine-free travel will only apply to visitors arriving into Sydney and Melbourne as NSW and Victoria are the only two states to have abolished it for fully-vaccinated travellers.

Of course, any Kiwis travelling to NSW and Victoria will still need to book an MIQ spot and quarantine when they return home. The current MIQ rules are being relaxed slightly from November 14 – with the 14-day stay in an MIQ hotel being reduced to seven days followed by home isolation for three days.

In 2019, 1.434 million visitors in Australia were from New Zealand, spending $1.6 billion, making it the country’s second largest source of tourists.

Federal Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister Dan Tehan said the return of quarantine-free arrivals would be a major boost for the nation’s tourism industry.

“Australia delivers what Kiwis want in a holiday, including safety and security, value for money and world class natural beauty and wildlife,” Tehan said.

“Tourism Australia will look to scale up its marketing activities in New Zealand, with an immediate focus on building confidence and broadening knowledge of the depth of Australia’s tourism offering.”

Before boarding a plane from New Zealand, travellers will need to complete a declaration showing they have had a negative pre-departure PCR test within three days of the departure.

They will also need evidence of full vaccination against Covid-19 with a vaccine approved by the TGA.

The new rules will only apply to people who have been in either Australia or New Zealand for the entire 14-day period before they travel here.

The move came as the government revealed the Australian Passport Office has had a surge of applications in the past month.

In October 102,000 people applied for passports compared to 82,000 applications in September and 53,000 applications in August.

Australians are also getting ready to travel by ordering the new International Covid-19 Vaccination Certificate; more than 717,500 have been generated since it was launched last month.

“The resumption of quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to Australia is another important marker on our road to recovery and it will encourage more Australians to dust off their passport and plan their next holiday,” Tehan said.

From Monday, fully-vaccinated Australians will be able to travel overseas without permission and vaccinated Australian citizens, residents and their families will be able to return quarantine-free to jurisdictions that are ready.

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