NZ travel bubble to be up and running within weeks

The Prime Minister has negotiated the first stage of an Australia-New Zealand travel bubble with his counterpart across the ditch, with flights to take off within two weeks.

New Zealanders will be able to fly direct into Australia from Friday October 16 at 12.01am, without having to quarantine for two weeks.

However, the first flights will only be able to touch down in New South Wales and the Northern Territory, as both states agree with the federal definition of a hotspot.


Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says other states will be able to accept the flights too.

“Any state or territory that imposes travel restrictions consistent with the Commonwealth-based definition hot spot will be able to participate and that is an important note.

“The Commonwealth hot spot definition has been developed by the Acting Chief Medical Officer Professor Paul Kelly and is robust and proportionate and of course everything that we have done right the way through we have done on the best medical advice,” he said. 

But it’s only going to operate one-way for the time being, meaning Australians are not yet able to travel to New Zealand without quarantining yet.

We have put in place and certainly if Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister in New Zealand, wants to have Australians going to New Zealand, then that will be up to her and New Zealand as to how those arrangements can be put into place and under what conditions they can be put into place,” Mr McCormack said.

The move will free up around 325 spots in hotel quarantine, which will help get more stranded Aussies home as well.