New Zealand/Australia Travel Bubble Requirements

COVID-19 is ravaging the world. New Zealand and Australia have fared well in containing and limiting its impact on their populations both personally and economically. However, certain sectors of commerce have been stopped in their tracks. The hospitality industries, with all their supporting services from airlines to vineyard workers, together with all the dots joined in between, have been limited to local support only.

The New Zealand and Australian governments have extensive structured quarantine requirements in place, which have been adapted by mutual agreement to open a travel bubble between the two nations. There is no longer a 14-day isolation period, with its related charges, for arriving in New Zealand from Australia.

However, each country could impose a lockdown and has the legislation to enforce it, if a COVID-19 flare-up occurs; particularly those of community transmission. In Australia, the central government, as well as the state government, have the power to lock down the entire country or individual states. That means that if a lockdown is implemented, either by state or for the whole country, a New Zealander who is visiting must adhere to those lockdown rules, with the delays and costs associated with them. Following on from a situation such as that, New Zealand may see fit to put conditions on travellers returning to New Zealand after being caught in a lockdown in Australia. These are some of the many risks associated with the travel bubble.

It is also unlikely that your employment agreement, if you have one, has an appropriate provision for the travel bubble. Prior to travelling to Australia, you should check with your employer or lawyer regarding what happens in the event that you are delayed and locked down in Australia due to Covid-19.

The “she’ll be right” attitude is not appropriate when dealing with the complexities of this pandemic.