Travel news: When will Australia and New Zealand resume their borders?

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    Pre-Covid, Australia and New Zealand were wonderful, year-round holiday destinations.

    But due to the pandemic, their borders have mostly remained closed to international travel since March 2020.

    However, there is glimmer of good news for Australians and New Zealanders living abroad, if they’re keen to go home. Or if you desperately need to get there for personal family reasons.

    So, when will Australia and New Zealand open up again fully? Will it be 2022, or even 2023?

    Here’s what you need to know.

    When will Australia’s borders reopen?

    Technically, Australia’s borders have reopened for some passengers, but far from all.

    An Aerial shot of a car driving on the red centre roads in the Australian Outback

    No travel to Australia… yet (Picture: Getty)

    To enter the country, you’ll need an exemption – unless you are a permanent resident or citizen of Australia, an immediate family member of either category, a New Zealand citizen who typically resides in Australia, or fit to another specific category.

    Currently, fully-vaccinated travellers from New Zealand, Japan and Singapore are allowed to enter the country.

    This is as long as they are visiting a state or territory which is allowing visitors, and comply with any rules or requirements (such as Covid testing).

    Announcing the changes back in November, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said: ‘As vaccination rates continue to rise around the country, I look forward to seeing even more border restrictions easing so families can be reunited and Australians can continue to reclaim their lives.’

    However, the country remains sadly closed to most UK travellers, even fully-vaccinated ones.

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    Only those who are exempt or successfully apply for exemption will be allowed in, such as if you have ‘compassionate or compelling reasons’. You can apply for one via the Australian authorities’ website.

    Unfortunately, it’s not yet known when Australia will fling open the borders and allow Brits to holiday again.

    While you wait, keep an eye on Australia’s entry requirements on the UK government’s FCDO website.

    When will New Zealand’s borders reopen?

    New Zealand’s borders are almost completely closed off for travel purposes.

    This is for all international travellers, including British citizens – and will remain that way for some time.

    Empty New Zealand hiking path in open landscape

    New Zealand remains closed to travellers, too (Picture: Getty)

    Currently, to enter New Zealand, their government website says you must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.

    Certain limited exemptions are granted, which you can find more information about here – and visit this page if you do need to make a request to travel to the country.

    Anyone over the age of 17 who does enter the country must be fully vaccinated, as well as having a negative PCR test result, from a test taken no more than 72 hours prior.

    There will be a legally-mandated 14-day quarantine upon your arrival in New Zealand, even if you are vaccinated – as well as multiple testing requirements, which you pay for (costs starting at $3,100 NZD or £1,600 for a single person) and must book well in advance.

    However, there a tiny number of countries on its quarantine-free travel list at present.

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    This allows a small subset of travellers from very specific nations and territories to travel to New Zealand without spending 14 days quarantining in a government-run hote.

    Whether they can travel depends on their citizenship or residency status (i.e. Do they have the right to live in New Zealand?),

    They include: Australia Samoa, Tonga, Tokelau, Vanuatu and Niue. Unfortunately, quarantine-free travel from the Cooke Islands has been temporarily paused.

    Travellers must also be fully vaccinated, unless they are a New Zealand citizen. And for more, keep an eye on New Zealand’s entry requirements on the FCDO website.

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