Australia to open borders to Kiwis for quarantine-free travel to two states

By Te Ao - Māori News

Kiwis can travel to New South Wales and the Northern Territory from mid-October without having to go into quarantine in Australia, under a new travel bubble agreed on Friday. 

The arrangement which begins on 16 October only applies one-way, however, with Australians unable to travel to NZ.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says Kiwis should be aware they will still have to go through quarantine and pay the $3,100 fee when they return from Australia.

“I want New Zealanders to keep in mind ... that doesn’t mean they won’t have to go into quarantine on return. In fact, at this stage they will.”

Ardern says NZ is not ready for quarantine-free travel with Australia.

"They have a very different strategy to us and so they’re making that decision, and that is their prerogative, but for now we, of course, have to keep New Zealanders safe.”

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says the arrangement is, hopefully, a first step toward a more comprehensive travel bubble across the Tasman.

“This is the first stage in what we hope to see as a trans-Tasman bubble between the two countries, not just that state and that territory," he said.

"We want to open up Australia to the world. This is the first part of it."