Australians will not be denied entry to South Island New Zealanders from Wednesday.

Due to COVID-19 epidemics in New Zealand and Australia, the trans-Tasman travel bubble was temporarily suspended for several months.

Paul Kelly, the Chief Medical Officer of the Commonwealth, announced that Victoria and New South Wales had accepted some new arrivals.

Professor Kelly stated that “Looking at New Zealand’s South Island situation, where there have been no cases since last year,” Kelly noted.

“We hope that anyone who has been to the South Island of New Zealand for at least 14 days, regardless of whether they are Australians or New Zealanders, will be allowed to enter quarantine.

 

“I am aware that there are some Australians who have been trapped in South Island New Zealand for some time. We’d be happy to welcome them back.”

New Zealanders arriving from Australia must quarantine for at least two weeks upon arrival.

Dominic Perrottet, Premier of New South Wales, announced Friday that he would eliminate home and hotel quarantines for travelers who have been vaccinated.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison quickly stressed that the Premier’s decision did not allow everyone to enter the country via Sydney. He argued that the initial relaxation of restrictions would only be available to Australian residents, citizens, and immediate family members.

Greg Hunt, Health Minister, stated that discussions are ongoing with other countries regarding “green lane”, which is travel that is free from quarantine.

“We are in an express discussion with Singapore,” Mr Hunt stated, noting that he had met Ong Ye Kung, the country’s health minister on Friday.

“We were talking about exactly this, an expedited green-lane travel proposal for fully-vaccinated travellers departing from Singapore.

“That’s below, I’d say it rapid development — they are obviously a highly developed society, they have an excellent handle on the disease.”

Mr Hunt stated that international travel is still far off.

He stated that Phase One is the opening of double-vaccinated travel to Australia for Australians and Australia residents to return.

Phase two is for priority visa holders, such as students or priority workers.

“Phase 3 would be for international travelers who have been fully vaccinated, and that would include tourists, to arrive.”

Minister said that progress would be made on this in the coming months as the vaccination program developed and was deemed safe by health officials.

All decisions regarding the opening of travel to non-vaccinated travelers would be made in due course.

Image: theaustralian.com.au