WA joins NZ travel bubble, softens border stance

West Australians can travel to New Zealand without quarantining from April 19 and States will need to record just 14 days of no COVID-19 community transmission to be considered low-risk, in a softening of WA’s hard border.

NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week announced a two-way travel bubble with Australia and each State has now signed on to the arrangement.

Pending no further outbreaks, people will be able to travel from Australia to NZ if they wear a mask on their flight and follow all regulations including downloading the NZ tracer app on arrival.

Travellers from NZ to WA must have spent at least 14 days in NZ before they fly, complete a G2G pass and complete a health screening on arrival.

WA has also shifted its requirements for ‘very low risk’ jurisdictions where quarantine-free travel is allowed, from 28 days of zero COVID-19 community transmission to 14 days.

CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey welcomed the measures, saying they would provide relief to WA businesses.

“In particular, shifting the ‘very low risk’ classification threshold from 28 days to 14 days means WA can re-open to states sooner, increasing WA businesses’ connection with suppliers and customers in other states,” he said.

“Confirmation that Western Australia will participate in the New Zealand travel bubble creates opportunities to attract tourists with higher average spending, and opens up a new source of workers, currently the biggest economic concern for WA businesses.”

Jacinda Ardern said she believed Australia could safely manage COVID-19 outbreaks and the travel bubble would work in a similar way to travel arrangements between Australian states.

WA also lifted restrictions on many indoor and outdoor fixed seating venues, with a return to full capacity at the State’s major sporting arenas, auditoriums and amphitheatres, theatres, concert halls, cinemas, comedy lounges and performing arts centres. 

WA’s softening on very low-risk jurisdictions and venue restrictions will take effect from 12:01am on April 10.

For up-to-date information on COVID-19 as it impacts business, visit CCIWA’s COVID-19 site.

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