Aussie states and territories restrict NZ arrivals after Auckland declared a Commonwealth hotspot

An early morning view of the CBD of Auckland, across the water of Waitemata Harbor.

The Australian government has declared Auckland a Commonwealth hotspot following a COVID-19 outbreak in the Kiwi city.

Australian Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly announced the move on Wednesday, meaning no one who had been in Auckland in the last 14 days would be permitted to board a ‘green flight’ into Australia.

Auckland Airport, for the purposes of travel only, is exempt from the ban, which will be in place until 11.59pm on 6 March 2021.

Normal green flight arrangements will continue for travellers who have not been in Auckland in the last 14 days.

The announcement comes not long after the federal government once again restarted the one-way travel bubble between Australia and NZ, and has prompted all states and territories to tighten restrictions for certain travellers arriving from across the ditch.

Travellers who arrive in NSW and have visited or transited through Auckland, including Auckland Airport, in the previous 14 days must go directly to one of the state’s quarantine facilities and remain there for the quarantine period and pay the required fees, unless they choose to directly leave Australia.

Those who arrive in NSW from Auckland who require medical treatment need to go directly to a medical facility for treatment, where they will remain for the quarantine period and pay the required fees.

All flights arriving from Auckland into Victoria are now being regarded as ‘red zone’ arrivals, and anyone arriving will be required to enter mandatory hotel quarantine for 14 days.

Queensland has removed NZ from its list of ‘safe travel countries’ and halted all ‘green flights’ coming into the state from across the ditch. Anyone who is permitted to travel to Queensland from NZ will be required to quarantine on arrival. (Oh, and in other news from Queensland, the state’s border restrictions with Greater Melbourne will be removed from 1am tomorrow.)

In addition to removing NZ as a ‘safe travel country’, the Queensland government is also recommending all travellers who have been in the Land of the Long White Cloud on or since 21 February 2021 to come forward, get tested and isolate until they have their results.

This also applies to anyone who has entered from 6 February who has not already had a test after entering Queensland.

Tasmania has declared Auckland a high-risk COVID-19 location, meaning who is currently in mainland Australia who has been in the city in the past 14 days and is planning to travel to Tasmania will not be permitted to enter unless approved as an essential traveller.

Interstate arrivals to Western Australia who have spent time in NZ in the previous 14 days will be required to self-quarantine for two weeks at a suitable premises and present for a COVID-19 test on day 11.

Travellers arriving in WA directly from New Zealand will be considered international travellers and are subject to the federal government’s mandatory quarantine period of 14 days in hotel quarantine at their own expense.

People travelling to South Australia from New Zealand will be treated as an overseas arrival and will be required to complete 14 days quarantine. (Oh, and in other news from South Australia, the state’s border restrictions with Greater Melbourne have been removed.)

Anyone who arrived in the Northern Territory between 19 February and 5:59pm on 25 February and were in any locations of interest in Auckland during certain time periods declared by the NZ Ministry of Health must have a COVID-19 test and undertake self-quarantine until a negative test is returned.

People arriving in the ACT from NZ and who have been in Auckland in the 14 days prior to their arrival to Australia (excluding transits via Auckland airport) are required to quarantine.

Affected individuals will need to seek relevant approvals from the ACT and their port of entry prior to travelling.

Travellers from NZ who are already in the ACT and have been in Auckland on or after 20 February (excluding transits via Auckland Airport) must get tested for COVID-19 and isolate until they get a negative result, or if they were in a location of interest, must quarantine until 14 days after they were last in the location of interest.

Featured image source: iStock/georgeclerk

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