Destinations

New Zealand reveals reopening plan with Australians shut out until April

Ali Coulton

Ali Coulton

New Zealand appears to have scrapped the trans-Tasman bubble, announcing Australians won’t be able to enter the country until April next year.

The news comes just days after Air New Zealand pulled the pin on more than 1,000 flights to 31 December, blaming continued border uncertainty between the two destinations.

The airline said in a tweet it estimated 20,000 customers would be impacted by the cancellations.

New Zealand’s COVID Response Minister Chris Hipkins released a three-step opening strategy on Wednesday, which would see fully vaccinated Kiwis in Australia return without spending two weeks in quarantine from 16 January.

Foreign nationals, including Australians, will be the last group allowed in with fully vaccinated travellers from eligible countries around the world allowed to visit the country from 30 April.

However, Hipkins said those entering New Zealand will still be required to self-isolate for seven days and undergo testing before their departure, on arrival and at the end of the isolation period.

Those who have been in a country or area classified as “very high risk” will still need to undergo a mandatory 14-days in hotel quarantine. New Zealand is expected to remove Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil from the “very high risk” category in early December.

“In the end, we’ve done what we’ve always done, and that is to follow expert advice – which continues to show us the border is our biggest risk for new cases,” he said.

“… our current outbreak which now has over 7,000 cases associated with it, stems from a single traveller travelling from Australia to New Zealand.

“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed. This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.”

More information on isolation requirements will be released in December.

Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Geraghty said the announcement signalled the beginning of the return to international travel.

“A date for travel is the certainty that Air New Zealand has been waiting for, and while it would have been nice to reunite friends and families this side of Christmas, customers will now have the confidence to plan reunions and holidays into the New Year,” Geraghty said.

“We can be ready before late April to fly visitors from around the globe and we’re hoping New Zealand’s success with vaccinations will see that decision reviewed and brought forward in the new year.”

However, not everyone was as pleased as the Kiwi national carrier.

Australian Federation of Travel Agents (AFTA) boss Dean Long said the plan was a “complete body blow” for travel between Australia and New Zealand.

“I think everybody in Australia and New Zealand saw two countries that were closely aligned in terms of their recovery from Covid-19. That will be extremely challenging now with New Zealand’s reopening so far down the track,” Long told the Australian.

“People typically book overseas holidays at least six to nine months out, so with New Zealand not reopening until basically May, their travel industry will be lucky to see too many visitors in 2022.”


Image: Facebook/jacindaardern


SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Leave a Reply

Tourism

Game of Thrones studio tour and To Be Irish programme launched by Tourism Ireland

Remember when everyone in your office wouldn’t shut up about Game of Thrones? Best not show them this news, or the fanfare may return.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Qantas CEO airs doubts about Bonza’s ability to service new routes

by James Harrison

The battle of the airlines begins before Bonza has even put a plane in the air. We can’t wait to see what happens after lift-off.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Virgin Australia launch three new Gold Coast flights, restart Sydney to Canberra service

The new flight announcements have made everyone pretty excited, especially teenagers going to schoolies and adults going as toolies .

Share

CommentComments

Travel Agents

“Different doesn’t have to be worse”: Flight Centre’s Renos Rologas talks post-pandemic travel

This FCM heavyweight reckons having a travel expert at the end of the phone will be “like gold dust” for those navigating the new travel landscape.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Silversea announces famil winners for its champagne incentive, appoints new SVP for sales

Knowing that selling cruises can score you free bottles of champagne AND overseas trips has got our editorial team seriously reconsidering our respective career pathways.

Share

CommentComments

Wholesalers

Intrepid amps up active offering with Europe walking collection and its biggest US offering yet

The tour operator’s latest collections target those who spent lockdown binge-watching Yoga with Adriene instead of Squid Game like the rest of us.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Man charged for $5000 quarantine hotel rampage in Tassie

Hotel quarantine can be tough, but this guy took cabin fever to the extreme in a truly unforgettable holiday.

Share

CommentComments

Technology

Former ABC managing director Michelle Guthrie appointed as chair of TRAVLR

Michelle Guthrie will take the reigns as the new chair of the board at TRAVLR, alongside advisor and investor, Matt Berriman as the role of non-executive director.

Share

CommentComments

Cruise

Royal Caribbean reveal four cruise ships headed to Alaska in mid-2023

Get your diary out for this huge series of cruises coming mid-2023.

Share

CommentComments

Tourism

Queensland to reopen to all of Australia from Monday

Palaszczuk finally announces the date Queensland borders will reopen for fully vaccinated travellers from interstate hotspots, and what changes they can expect.

Share

CommentComments

Aviation

Fiji Airways debuts new in-flight experiences for holiday-seeking Aussies

Passengers travelling with the tropical paradise’s national carrier can (literally) rest assured they’re being taken care of with its new economy sleeper option.

Share

CommentComments

Hotels

Historic Melbourne hotel gets multi-million dollar makeover

Rendezvous Hotel Melbourne has had a modern makeover that pays homage to its turn-of-the-century origins.  

Share

CommentComments