Virgin won’t fly most New Zealand routes until 31 October

Clay Curtis
April 6, 2021

"When it's safe to do so, we look forward to sharing the biggest homecoming party with everyone at Mount Smart Stadium but we need to be absolutely sure we will be able to travel to and from Australia with confidence to ensure our place in the competition isn't jeopardised".

On Tuesday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed the keenly-anticipated date for the removal of quarantine for Australian travellers.

Quarantine-free travel for New Zealanders travelling to Australia had been in place since late past year, but for the competition to proceed in its original six-week format or without the need for a single hub, it had to be the same scenario for Australians travelling to New Zealand.

Airlines have started bookings with "the 19th pretty much definite", the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry tourism chief John Hart was quoted as saying in the report.

Last month, Australia paved the way for the trans-Tasman bubble by amending its Biosecurity Act, which gives it the legal right to ask all returning residents to quarantine for 14 days.

Passengers will also be required to wear facemask during the flight and must download New Zealand's Covid tracer app.

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"Quarantine free travel will not be what it was pre-COVID-19, and those undertaking travel will do so under the guidance of "flyer beware", she said.

The New Zealand leader acknowledged those that had suffered due to the necessary border arrangements.

Passengers arriving at the global airport in Auckland. This will include vigilant contact tracing, and "green zones" separating travellers from Australia and New Zealand, and travellers from other destinations not within the bubble.

Those coming from Australia will be on planes exclusively for Australians, Ms Ardern said.

Virgin Australia said it will not be operating flights to New Zealand during the bubble, citing "border requirements which add complexity to our business".

The idea of the travel bubble has been in the news for almost 12 months but has previously been scuttled due to outbreaks.

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