How quarantine-free travel works
You can already travel from New Zealand to most states in Australia without having to enter a managed isolation facility when you arrive. From 19 April, travellers from Australia can travel to New Zealand without having to go into managed isolation.
All other normal entry requirements, for example immigration and biosecurity, apply.
Which states or territories you can travel to
Currently, Western Australia is not participating in quarantine-free travel with New Zealand. If you travel directly to Western Australia from New Zealand, you will have to enter 14 days of managed isolation. You will need to meet the costs of this.
Western Australia also has requirements when travelling there from another state — check these requirements before you travel.
You can travel quarantine-free to all other states and territories.
Who can travel quarantine-free to Australia
People in New Zealand who meet the eligibility criteria can fly quarantine-free to most states in Australia.
If you’re outside New Zealand, you can fly quarantine-free to Australia once you have met New Zealand’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.
Normal immigration rules apply
Normal immigration rules apply. This means if you usually need a visa, then you will need one to fly quarantine-free to Australia.
If you do not already have a visa, you will need to apply for one.
If you plan to travel to Australia and return to New Zealand, you will need to make sure you meet the visa and entry requirements for Australia before you travel and ensure you have a valid New Zealand visa or NZeTA to return to New Zealand.
If you're a temporary visa holder in New Zealand, you should be aware that you need to meet New Zealand immigration requirements in order to return to New Zealand. This means you need to have a ‘multiple entry’ visa that gives permission to leave New Zealand and return, provided all entry requirements are met.
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 subsequently travel to Fiji, your visa will not allow you to re-enter New Zealand from Fiji.
You must meet some criteria
To travel to Australia on a quarantine-free flight, you must meet some criteria.
It is your responsibility to check the eligibility criteria for entering Australia. You will also need to check that the state or territory you want to land in, or travel onwards to, is accepting quarantine-free flights from New Zealand.
The requirements for entering Australia could change at short notice.
You do not need a pre-departure test
You do not need a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test to travel to Australia on a quarantine-free flight.
Australia has sometimes introduced requirements for testing on arrival for people travelling from New Zealand. You should regularly check the requirements of the state you're arriving in.
Check the restrictions of your destination
Australia’s states and territories may have their own restrictions and requirements, for example for pre-departure testing. Check what you need to do and what you need to know before you travel.
You should also check what you need to do if you are travelling between states in Australia, as you may need to meet some requirements.
Travel information about COVID-19 by state or territory:
Register at SafeTravel
We encourage you to register at SafeTravel to get the latest travel advice for Australia.
Registering means the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT), embassies and consulates can:
- contact you in an emergency situation
- provide consular assistance if needed
- check on your wellbeing, or
- send you important information.
If the COVID-19 situation changes in Australia or New Zealand
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.
How a COVID-19 case in Australia would be managed
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, like timing and location, it's useful to know what to expect.
Here 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.
Check the COVID-19 website of the state or territory you're in
If there is a change in Australia’s COVID-19 situation, for example cases in the community, check the COVID-19 website for the state or territory you’re in. They will tell you what you need to do.
Covid19.govt.nz (this website) and our social media channels will announce changes to Australia's COVID-19 situation and to quarantine-free travel.
Information about COVID-19 by state or territory:
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 New Zealand is delayed. You may need to stay in Australia for longer than you planned, and you will need to meet any costs for this. Government assistance is unlikely to be available.
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 when you return<
If the COVID-19 situation changes in Australia, you may need to enter managed isolation or self-isolation when you return to 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 New Zealand
If you're a temporary visa holder from New Zealand, you should ensure you have enough time on your visa to cover an extended stay in Australia if required. If quarantine-free travel is suspended and border restrictions are put in place, you must have the right to enter New Zealand and hold a valid visa — this may include seeking a Border Exception to return to New Zealand.
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 Australia
- What to do after you arrive in Australia