Australia to resume green zone flights from South Island

Source: 1News

Australia is set to allow green zone flights from the South Island to resume from next week.

A person checks in for their flight during the Covid-19 pandemic (file picture).

While Covid-19 cases continue to emerge both in Auckland and elsewhere in the North Island, there has been no locally acquired cases in the South Island.

Considering this, Australia’s Chief Medical Officer Paul Kelly said the Australian Government would continue the pause of green zone flights from the North Island until 2.59am November (11.59 pm on October 31 AEST) with all flights being classified as red zone flights until this time.

This means anyone headed across the ditch will need to go into supervised hotel quarantine for 14 days on arrival in Australia.

However, the Australian Government on Sunday has given the green light for travel to resume from the South Island as of 2.59am on Monday 18 October (11.59 pm on Tuesday 19 October AEST).

The new travel bubble is subject to safety measures, though.

Passengers must get a pre-departure PCR test within 72 hours of the departure flight time to Australia and have evidence of full vaccination against Covid-19 for those eligible.

As well, passengers must declare that they haven't been in the North Island or any Covid-19 locations of interest for the past 14 days.

"The Chief Medical Officer and the Australian Health Protection Principal Committee (AHPPC) will continue to monitor the situation in New Zealand and provide revised guidance as further information becomes available," Kelly said.

There will be a further review of the travel arrangements on October 30.

Air New Zealand chief customer and sales officer Leanne Gerarghty said it was "great news" for those who have been unable to travel back to Australia since the bubble closed in August.

"The airline is seeking clarification from the Australian Government on how this will work and will have more to share in the coming days."

From November 1, fully vaccinated Australian residents won't have to isolate when arriving in NSW. They will also need evidence of a negative Covid test.

People wanting to travel to NZ from overseas must secure a spot in MIQ and do 14 days isolation in a facility upon arrival.