How a COVID-19 case in Australia would be managed — quarantine-free travel

This is a guide to what might occur and what you could be asked to do in the event there are COVID-19 cases in Australia when you travel.

When travelling to Australia, you’ll need to keep track of the COVID-19 situation and play your part in stopping any spread back to New Zealand.

We cannot predict when or how a new case might appear in any Australian state. But we do have a plan for how we’d handle a wide range of possible situations. While any response will depend on the circumstances, such as timing and location, it’s useful to know what to expect.

This is a guide to what might occur and what you could be asked to do in the event there are COVID-19 cases in Australia when you travel.

Continue quarantine-free travel

For example, case linked to the border — there is low risk of further transmission.

What will happen?

Flights to and from Australia likely to continue.

What do travellers do?

Follow local health instructions.

Keep a record of your movements.

If you’re unwell, stay home or in your accommodation.

Get a COVID-19 test if you have any symptoms.

Pause quarantine-free travel

For example, case of unknown source, but most likely linked to the border. State enters a short-term lockdown.

What will happen?

Flights to and from affected state or states may be paused for up to 72 hours.

What do travellers do?

Follow instructions from the state you're in.

If you're unwell or have symptoms, get a COVID-19 test.

Watch for updates from your airline, and check your travel insurance.

When returning to New Zealand, travellers from affected state may be asked to:

  • get a pre-departure test before flying
  • self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test
  • if you are returning from a state where travel has been paused, you may go into managed isolation when you arrive in New Zealand.

Suspend quarantine-free travel

For example, multiple cases of unknown source. State enters longer-term lockdown.

What will happen?

Flights to and from affected state or states may be suspended for an extended period.

What do travellers do?

Follow instructions from the state you're in.

If you're unwell or have symptoms, get a COVID-19 test.

Watch for updates from your airline, and check your travel insurance.

When returning to New Zealand, travellers may be asked to:

  • get a pre-departure test before flying
  • self-isolate and get a COVID-19 test
  • if you are returning from a state where travel has been suspended, you may go into managed isolation when you arrive in New Zealand.

For all situations: Be prepared

  • This guide may apply to one state or multiple states, depending on the case.
  • Register with SafeTravel before you leave.
  • Check your travel insurance and ticket conditions.
  • You may need to stay longer. Be aware getting home is your responsibility.

What you should do

  • Follow official advice.
  • Download a COVID-19 tracer app in the state you are in.
  • Keep an eye on Covid19.govt.nz (this website).

What to do when you arrive in Australia, including local COVID-19 websites and COVID-19 tracer apps

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