New Zealand will open travel to parts of Australia from July, as half the country continues to battle growing coronavirus outbreaks
New Zealand announced it would reopen the trans-Tasman travel bubble on July 5 to select states and territories.
The country paused the deal completely over the weekend in response to growing cases in Australia, after originally deciding to close the bubble to New South Wales only.
People in South Australia, the ACT, Tasmania and Victoria will be able to fly to and from the country without needing to quarantine, but the border remains shut to anyone who has visited COVID-19 hot spots.
Anyone who has been in New South Wales since last Tuesday, or those who have been in Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia since Saturday will be unable to fly to New Zealand.
New Zealand Response Minister Chris Hipkins said travellers would have to present a negative test result before flying.
“There is robust surveillance, testing and contact tracing to detect and manage cases, an adequate border controls are in place to prevent the spread of new cases,” he said.
“We will keep a close eye on all of this over the next few days, but the decision in principle allows people to start to plan.
“We will extend requirements for those coming into New Zealand from Australia during the foreseeable future to get a pre departure test within 72 hours of when they are leaving.”
Four states and territories have introduced lockdowns, equating to almost half of the Australian population in some form of restriction, as the country battles multiple, worrying outbreaks across various states.
Queensland announced a snap three-day lockdown to come into effect from Tuesday evening, after an unvaccinated hospital worker contracted the virus.
Western Australia went into a four-day lockdown in the Perth and Peel region at midnight last night, Greater Darwin is in lockdown until 1pm on Friday, and Greater Sydney is in day four of a two-week lockdown which ends at midnight on July 9.
Mr Hipkins said the border remained open to the states that posed less of a risk.
“The health advice is that the spread of COVID-19 in these parts of Australia has been contained at this point,” he said.
“The cabinet agreed that partially lifting the pause was the appropriate course of action.”
The pause on the banned states will be reviewed on Monday with an announcement expected next Tuesday.