The first quarantine-free flight to the Australian state of Queensland from New Zealand is set to touch down in Brisbane on Thursday.
Air New Zealand flight NZ147 is scheduled to depart Auckland at 7.40am local time for Brisbane with passengers not required to quarantine on arrival.
They will need to complete a declaration form on arrival stating they have been in New Zealand for the preceding 14 days.
Air New Zealand said it would operate five return flights a week between Auckland and Brisbane. Three will be quarantine-free flights, while the other two will be quarantine flights.
Those returning to New Zealand will still need to quarantine for two weeks on their arrival, and register and pay for managed isolation, the New Zealand Herald said.
New Zealand has eliminated the local transmission of the virus, with its last local case recorded on 18 November, while the state of Queensland in December celebrated 100 days with no new coronavirus cases. The state has closed its borders to neighbouring New South Wales, which has in recent weeks been fighting a new outbreak, with daily cases currently below 10.
The Auckland-Brisbane flights will operate similarly to Air New Zealand’s Sydney and Melbourne routes with separate flights for those who meet the Safe Travel Zone criteria, airline spokesperson Leanne Geraghty said.
“Our teams have been working closely with authorities in Australia to ensure all agencies are satisfied processes are in place,” she said.
Passengers planning to travel interstate from Queensland need to ensure they have checked state and territory travel restrictions and have the appropriate exemptions or approvals to travel, as these continue to change.