How quarantine-free travel works
You can travel between Australia and New Zealand without having to enter a managed isolation facility when you arrive.
You need to have spent the 14 full days before your date of departure in either Australia or New Zealand. You can visit each country for any length of time and you do not need to stay for 14 days before you return.
All other normal entry requirements apply, for example immigration and biosecurity.
Quarantine-free travel is only available when the New Zealand Government’s health preconditions have been met and when travel is low risk.
Green flights and red flights
Quarantine-free flights are sometimes called ‘green flights’. A green flight coming to New Zealand from Australia only carries passengers who have been in Australia or New Zealand in the past 14 days. These flights will also be flown by crew who have not flown on any high-risk routes for a set period of time.
A ‘red flight’ carries passengers from countries outside of a quarantine-free travel arrangement, or from within a quarantine-free area with passengers that do not meet the eligibility criteria. Red flight passengers must enter managed isolation or quarantine when they arrive in New Zealand.
It will not be possible to book a red flight from Australia to New Zealand from 19 April. Every flight from Australia to New Zealand from that time will be a green flight. Some airlines are continuing to operate red flights from other countries that transit Australia en route to New Zealand.
Who can travel quarantine-free to New Zealand
When quarantine-free travel to New Zealand begins, people in Australia who meet the eligibility criteria can fly quarantine-free to New Zealand.
If you’re outside Australia, you can fly quarantine-free to New Zealand once you have met Australia’s managed isolation and quarantine requirements. You will also need to meet immigration rules and eligibility criteria.
Currently, quarantine-free travel is available on commercial aircraft only.
You must meet New Zealand immigration requirements
Australian and New Zealand citizens may travel between Australia and New Zealand without a visa or New Zealand electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).
All other travellers must hold a visa or NZeTA.
Request an NZeTA or apply for a visa
Some people can travel to New Zealand without a visa if they get an NZeTA before they travel. You can travel to New Zealand on an NZeTA if you are travelling on a passport from a visa waiver country, you're a cruise ship passenger or you're a permanent resident of Australia.
You must request your NZeTA before you travel.
Citizens from other countries can also apply for a visa to enter New Zealand.
If you require a visa in order to travel to New Zealand, you can apply for one, provided you are in and intend to travel from a quarantine-free travel area when you apply. For example, if you intend to travel directly to New Zealand from the Cook Islands, you must be in the Cook Islands to apply for a visa under normal immigration requirements.
Any visa granted for travel from within a quarantine-free travel area will only be valid for travel from within the quarantine-free travel area. If you travel outside of New Zealand or a quarantine-free travel area you will not be able to use this visa to re-enter New Zealand. For example, if you are granted a visa in Australia and then travel to Fiji, your visa will not allow you to re-enter New Zealand from Fiji.
You must meet some criteria
To travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight, you must meet the following criteria:
- You meet immigration requirements.
- You need to spend the 14 full days before your date of departure in either Australia or New Zealand.
Note this means you can travel from day 15 onwards.
- You have not had a positive COVID-19 test in the 14 days before you depart. If you have, you must have written advice from a health practitioner that you are no longer infectious.
- You are not waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test taken in the past 14 days.
- You must complete a travel declaration before you depart (see information below).
- You must answer questions about your health at departure (see information below).
You must complete the Nau Mai Rā travel declaration before you depart from Australia. It mainly asks you about your travel plans and contact details. Everyone travelling must complete the declaration, or have one completed on their behalf.
You cannot use Internet Explorer to complete this form — use Google Chrome or another browser.
If you need help, would like to give feedback or have technical issues, contact the Nau Mai Rā travel declaration team.
Pre-departure health declaration
You must answer questions about your health at departure — you will not be able to travel if you have COVID-19 symptoms. You will be asked these questions at the check-in kiosk.
If you have pre-existing medical conditions that explain any symptoms you may have (for example hayfever), make sure you bring evidence of this to avoid being denied boarding. This evidence must be a medical certificate.
The COVID-19 symptoms include:
- a new or worsening cough
- a sore throat
- shortness of breath
- a runny nose
- loss of sense of smell, or
- a fever.
You do not need a pre-departure test
You do not need a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test for travel to New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight.
The New Zealand Government has signalled that if there are community cases of COVID-19 in Australia and flights are paused, it may require people travelling to or returning to New Zealand to get tested for COVID-19 before travelling.
If the COVID-19 situation changes in New Zealand or Australia
If there is a change in Alert Level in New Zealand or the situation changes in Australia, Covid19.govt.nz (this website) and news websites will announce it. You can also find information on this website about what to do at different Alert Levels.
If community cases occur in New Zealand or Australia, the Government could pause quarantine-free travel for a time to assess the risk or it could suspend travel for a longer period of time. Travellers should have a plan and be prepared for travel plans to be disrupted.
Be prepared, and have a plan if your travel is disrupted
Community cases of COVID-19 in New Zealand or Australia could lead to the Government pausing any quarantine-free travel arrangements while it gathers information about the risk.
You are responsible for managing any disruption to your travel due to COVID-19.
Have a plan if your travel is disrupted
Have a plan for what to do if your return to Australia is delayed. You may need to stay in New Zealand for longer than you planned, and you will need to meet any costs for this. Government assistance is unlikely to be available.
You may also need to enter managed isolation or self-isolation when you return to Australia.
You should get travel insurance
You should get travel insurance before you travel overseas. Read the travel insurance conditions and talk to your travel insurer if you are unsure about whether their policy covers COVID-19-related travel disruption.
You may need to enter managed isolation
If you're about to return to New Zealand from Australia and the COVID-19 situation changes, you may need to enter managed isolation when you arrive in New Zealand. If this happens, you will need to pay for your stay there. Applications to waive payments will be considered on a case-by-case basis. If you need to travel to New Zealand urgently, you can apply for an emergency allocation.
If you're a temporary visa holder from Australia
If you're a temporary visa holder from Australia, you should ensure you have enough time on your visa to cover an extended stay in New Zealand if required. You need to ensure you can meet the entry criteria for Australia on your return.
Bookings for managed isolation or quarantine (MIQ) facilities
Once quarantine-free travel begins, you will not be able to register for a voucher or book a place in MIQ. Quarantine-free flights will be excluded from the Managed Isolation Allocation System.
If you’ve already booked your place in MIQ
If you already have an MIQ booking and you are now travelling on a quarantine-free flight into New Zealand, please cancel your voucher. This frees up space for returnees from other countries. If you are not sure if your flight is quarantine free, talk to your airline.
If you're arriving from Australia just before quarantine-free travel begins
If you're arriving from Australia just before quarantine-free travel begins, you will still need to go into managed isolation and complete the full 14 days.
Renew your passport if it has expired
Over 400,000 passports belonging to New Zealanders have expired since our borders closed last year.
If you need to renew your passport, apply now to avoid the rush when quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and Australia opens on 19 April.
- What to do before you travel
- At the airport, while travelling and at the airport in New Zealand
- What to do after you arrive in New Zealand