How quarantine-free travel works
From 19 April, you can travel from Australia to New Zealand without having to enter a managed isolation facility when you arrive. Travellers from New Zealand can already enter some states in Australia without having to go into managed isolation.
To travel to New Zealand quarantine-free you need to have spent 14 days in either Australia or New Zealand before you travel. You are able to visit each country for any length of time and are not required to stay for 14 days.
All other normal entry requirements, for example immigration and biosecurity, apply.
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.
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.
All others must hold a visa or New Zealand electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).
Travellers from Australia who are citizens of other countries may need to apply for a visa or complete an NZeTA.
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 days before you depart in either Australia or New Zealand. Note that you are able to visit each country for any length of time and are not required to stay for 14 days.
- You have not had a positive COVID-19 test in the 14 days before you depart.
- You are not waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test taken in the past 14 days.
- You must complete a travel declaration when you book your flights. This declaration mainly asks you about your travel plans and contact details.
- You must answer questions about your health at departure — you will not be able to travel if you have cold or flu symptoms.
Travel declaration will be available soon
You must complete an online travel declaration before you travel from Australia. This declaration is being finalised and will be available from 14 April.
Please ensure you return to this website before you travel to complete the declaration.
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 here 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 or self-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 quarantine-free travel is paused or suspended while you’re in mid-flight and you’re required to go into managed isolation on arrival, you will be found a place and you will not have to meet the costs of your stay.
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.
- 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