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Trans-Tasman Travel update – September 2020

In June, Canberra Airport opened discussions with the Australian and New Zealand Governments to restart Trans-Tasman travel with direct flights between our two COVID free Capital Cities – Canberra and Wellington. It was proposed that there would be an incremental safe reopening of travel and once proven for 1-2 weeks, the next step could see an extension of these flights to other Australian cities.

Unfortunately, this proposal was not supported due to the COVID outbreaks in Victoria which in turn affected NSW and the subsequent border closures across the country. As cases are showing a steady decrease in both Victoria and NSW, with Canberra not recording any cases of COVID for over 70 days and Wellington remain COVID free, we have renewed our push for the reopening of Trans-Tasman travel once again.

Travellers from New Zealand to Australia

We have proposed to the Australian Government that Australian citizens coming from New Zealand to Australia should no longer be required to quarantine – the health risk does not require it and it is taking up the very limited accommodation capacity available for returning Australians.

Last Friday, the Australian Prime Minister made it clear that such a decision would be made sometime in the near future. He said “Another way we’ll be able to help more Australians get home is we’re working to ensure that New Zealanders can come to Australia, and Australians can return to Australia from New Zealand without the need to go through quarantine if they’re not coming from an area where there is an outbreak of COVID-19. For example, the whole of the South Island is an area where there is no COVID. And so if we can get to the situation soon where those coming home from New Zealand are able to enter Australia without going into a 14-day quarantine in a hotel, or in the worst-case scenario, only having to do that in their home, then what that does is that frees up places in our hotel quarantine system.”

Canberra Airport is ready, and we know that the connection between Canberra and Wellington does not present a health risk as both cities remain COVID free. We believe that flights will soon recommence from New Zealand to Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide and we are hopeful that the airlines will also fly to Canberra – as it is a great opportunity. Initially, it is expected that New Zealand citizens will need to quarantine on return to New Zealand but hopefully, this will not be necessary for much longer as the cases of COVID in Australia trend to very low levels.

Travellers from Australia to New Zealand

The New Zealand border currently remains closed to all travellers with the exception of returning New Zealand citizens and people with a critical purpose to travel. The New Zealand Government has stated that the opening of Trans-Tasman travel from Australia to New Zealand will not be considered until there is no community transmission of COVID-19 in either country for a period of 28 days. With the continuing decline of community transmission cases in Australia, Canberra Airport will continue discussions with both governments until the borders are able to safely reopen.

In June, Canberra Airport opened discussions with the Australian and New Zealand Governments to restart Trans-Tasman travel with direct flights between our two COVID free Capital Cities – Canberra and Wellington. It would be an incremental safe reopening of travel and once proven for 1-2 weeks, the next step could have extended these flights to other Australian cities.

Unfortunately, these plans were not supported due to the COVID outbreaks in Victoria which in turn effected NSW and the subsequent border closures across the country. Now, as cases are showing a steady decrease in both Victoria and NSW, with Canberra not recording any cases of COVID for over 70 days and Wellington remain COVID free, we have been pushing for the reopening of Trans-Tasman travel once again.

 

Are you interested in travelling to Wellington from Canberra Airport, or to Canberra Airport from Wellington ? *

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