Red flights for returnees from Australia to NZ to resume next month

Source: 1News

Red flights allowing people to return to New Zealand from Australia will resume from next month.

Man sitting on an airplane using his phone while wearing a mask.

The flights will resume from several cities in Australia, joint head of MIQ, Brigadier Rose King, said on Wednesday in a statement.

The ‘red’ flights will require travellers to book their 14-day stay in managed isolation and have a negative pre-departure test. Normal rules around whether they are liable to  pay for their stay  in MIQ will apply.

MIQ vouchers and flights will be available for travel on a limited number of dates in September from a select number of locations.

"We are aware that a number of New Zealanders in Australia have been unable to return since the suspension of quarantine-free travel with Australia in July, so I am very pleased that flights from Australia will resume to bring more people home," King said.

"People will need to secure a voucher for MIQ in the same way everyone else returning to New Zealand does and there is high demand right now. The current outbreak in New Zealand is putting extra pressure on MIQ capacity, as MIQ facilities are being used for all positive Covid-19 cases."

King urged potential travellers not to contact airlines at this stage as further information will be made available "in advance of the flights opening for bookings".

People with an urgent need to travel are encouraged to check the MIQ website to see if they meet the requirements for an emergency allocation. Travellers who wish to apply are advised to do so as soon as possible.

Travellers from Australia must book an MIQ voucher via the MIAS system and have a pre-departure test. Travellers must pay for their stay in MIQ if they are liable and not eligible for a fee waiver, King said.

A timeline on when the MIQ vouchers will be released and the flights are open for booking will be announced in the coming days. 

Updates on the red flights will be provided on the Covid-19 website.