Asia Today: Sydney lifts quarantine for N. Zealand travelers

  • Asia Today: Sydney lifts quarantine for N. Zealand travelers

Asia Today: Sydney lifts quarantine for N. Zealand travelers

It's flight day for a one-way air bubble with select Australian states.

The first quarantine-free flights from Auckland to Sydney are more than double their usual price and travellers will have to foot the three-thousand-200-dollar quarantine fee when they return home.

From today, New South Wales and the Northern Territory are allowing New Zealanders in without needing to quarantine.

It's the first step towards a so called Trans-Tasman bubble.

The New Zealand government is working on setting up a two-way quarantine-free system but has said it will only do so when safe.

Australia and New Zealand are among the first countries in the Asia-Pacific region to loosen restrictions on worldwide travel since Covid-19 travel bans came into effect earlier this year. There are now no hotspots in New Zealand.

But Kiwis travelling to Australia will have to quarantine once they return here - and pay for it.

A Jetstar and Qantas flight will follow, with more of our New Zealand friends on board.

Sydney Airport chief executive Geoff Culbert said he's looking forward to the flights arriving.

Air New Zealand is now operating eight return flights between Auckland and Sydney per week and will look to operate two quarantine flights per week, while the remaining flights will be quarantine-free.

"Quarantine flights will be open to passengers who do not meet the safe travel zone criteria and will be required to quarantine on arrival in Australia".

Singapore and Hong Kong announced on Thursday that they had agreed to quarantine-free travel between the two cities.

Customers would not be able to book onwards domestic flights via Air New Zealand due to Australian state restrictions.

The bubble now applies only to the state of New South Wales and the Northern Territory, but Australian officials said they hoped to expand to other states soon.

Upon arrival, passengers from New Zealand are kept separate from other passengers, who will be required to spend two weeks in quarantine.