New South Wales and Victoria have thrown their borders back open to all of New Zealand, after Australia’s Chief Medical Officer declared Auckland no longer a COVID-19 hotspot.
From 12.01am on Friday, March 12, travellers who have been in New Zealand’s biggest city during the past 14 days are no longer subject to hotel quarantine when flying into Sydney or Melbourne.
However, they must still undergo a PCR test for COVID-19 soon after arrival and self-isolate in their own accommodation awaiting a negative result, as well as quarantining on return to New Zealand.
Travellers from New Zealand to most other states and territories — including Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia — must still complete two weeks’ hotel quarantine, according to the state health departments’ websites.
The loosening of restrictions was introduced after Australia’s Chief Medical Officer, Professor Paul Kelly, announced Auckland’ was no longer a COVID-19 hotspot, effective midnight on Friday.
“All travellers are advised to check the arrangements in both their place of arrival and place of final destination before they travel.”
Professor Kelly said the situation in New Zealand had “improved greatly” and contact tracing showed a recent case, unrelated to the Auckland cluster, “posed a low risk of COVID-19 spreading in Australia.”
The move prompted NSW, Victoria and Queensland to impose new restrictions, imposing hotel quarantine on either anyone travelling from New Zealand or just those arriving from Auckland.
For NSW and Victoria, that requirement ended at midnight on Friday, replaced with requirements for anyone travelling from Auckland to get tested and self-isolate until they had a negative result..
“New Zealand is considered to present a low risk of COVID-19, with no more new cases reported in the recent Auckland cluster since 28 February,” the Thursday night statement said.
“A case in an air crew member was reported by New Zealand authorities on 7 March but this person is thought to be of low risk to the Auckland community.”
Queensland Health is yet to update its travel advice.