Latest Travel Updates - FAQ

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Update: 24 January 2022

Visiting our stores under the Traffic Light system:

Our Travel Associates stores are open under Red, Orange and Green traffic light settings with increased safety and sanitation measures in place.

If you do visit one of our stores, we have introduced the measures below to ensure you have a safe experience:

  • Social distancing at least a safe, 1m distance from each other (staff and customers).
  • Increased cleaning and sanitisation routines

We also please ask customers:

  • If you are feeling unwell please stay at home and contact us remotely instead
  • To sign in with the NZ COVID Tracer app before entering the store
  • You must wear a face covering while in our stores
  • Be kind

Our Travel Advisers are still contactable via phone and email within store open hours, to contact your Travel Adviser or store please visit: https://www.travel-associates.co.nz/stores.

Update: 21 December 2021

The government has announced changes to New Zealand's international border re-opening plan to minimise the risk of Omicron entering the country.


Below is a top-level recap, however more information can be found on the official government site - click here for more details.

  • The start of non-MIQ travel, originally set for 16 Jan 2022 for Kiwis returning from Australia, has been pushed out to the end of February.
  • There is a temporary change to MIQ with the length of stay increasing from 7 days to 10 days for all travellers, with no self-isolation component
  • The pre -departure test requirement to enter NZ will be reduced from 72 hours to 48 hours before travel
  • Everyone on an international flight with a positive case to be treated as a close contact
  • All countries removed from Very High-Risk country list

If you have an existing booking impacted by this latest announcement, please contact your Travel Adviser or local store so they can assist you.

 

Update: 24 November 2021

The government has just announced some huge changes around MIQ and opening our borders! Kiwis will finally be able to reconnect to the world soon!
 
There will be 3 steps:
 
STEP 1: From 17 January 2022, fully-vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers coming back from Australia will be able to self-isolate at home and bypass MIQ
 
STEP 2: From 14 February 2022, fully-vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers coming back from all other countries (with the exception of high risk countries) will be able to self-isolate at home and bypass MIQ
 
STEP 3: From 30 April, all fully-vaccinated foreign nationals will be able to travel to New Zealand, with the re-opening staged over time (possibly staged by visa category)
 
All travellers eligible for each of these steps will require the following:
 
  • A negative pre-departure test
  • Proof of being fully vaccinated
  • A passenger declaration about travel history
  • A day 0/1 test on arrival
  • A requirement to self-isolate for 7 days
  • A final negative test before entering the community
There are a lot of finer details, so head to the official site for all the latest updates: https://covid19.govt.nz/alert-levels-and-updates/latest-updates/
 
And for more info on current travel restrictions for NZ and overseas, please contact your local store: https://www.travel-associates.co.nz/stores.
 

Update: 09 November 2021

Air New Zealand announces domestic passengers will have to be fully vaccinated or Covid-19 negative to fly
  • From mid-December those aged 12 years, 3 months and older travelling on Air New Zealand domestic flights will be required to provide proof of full vaccination or negative COVID-19 test results within 72 hours of departure. 
  • Air New Zealand is aiming to have this in place by 14 Dec 2021, initially through to 31 Mar 2022. 
  • There will be a digital solution in place for travellers to show proof of vaccination or exemption by uploading their QR code from the NZ Government’s My Vaccine Pass as part of the check-in process. 
  • Travellers with a negative test result taken within 72 hours of departing need to present the free community text message result or doctor’s letter at an Air NZ check-in counter. 
For any customers with an existing booking, who are unable to provide proof of full vaccination, or a negative COVID-19 test before their flight, or who no longer wish to travel whilst this temporary Air New Zealand policy is in place, please contact your Travel Adviser or local store for assistance. 
 

Update: 08 November 2021

The Cook Islands Government announced on Friday 05 November that two-way quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands will resume on 14 January 2022 (NZ time).
 
Vaccinated travellers only 
All visitors must be aged 12 years and over and must be fully vaccinated or provide a certified medical exemption. Children under 12 years of age will be permitted to enter the Cook Islands once children between 5-11 years of age in New Zealand have begun being vaccinated.
 
COVID-19 test required before departure
Travellers must take a COVID-19 test no more than 72 hours before departure and show the negative result at departure and on arrival. No test is required on arrival in the Cook Islands. Travel to Aitutaki is permitted, with the only requirement being that travellers will undergo a Rapid Antigen Test before boarding their flight from Rarotonga to Aitutaki. A further test may be required on Aitutaki.
 
Only open to New Zealand
This travel corridor is only open between New Zealand and the Cook Islands, and the Cook Islands maritime border remains closed. 
 
Contact tracing and pre-arrival forms 
Visitors will be required to complete a Cook Islands contact form no more than 72 hours before departing New Zealand. To assist with tracing in the Cook Islands, travellers will be required to download the Cooksafe+ Bluetooth app as well as use their personal Cooksafe QR code card given on arrival. 
 
FAQs detailing what travellers need to know before departing New Zealand can be found on www.cookislands.travel. This will be updated progressively as various protocols are confirmed.
 
In addition, the following requirements are already in place for travellers:
 
  • Spend the full 14 days prior to your departure either in New Zealand or the Cook Islands
  • Have not had a positive COVID-19 test in the 14 days before you depart.
  • Not waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test taken in the past 14 days.
  • You must complete the Ministry of Health travel declaration form no more than 72 hours before returning to New Zealand
For our latest Cook Island Deals: click here
 
If you have an existing Cook Islands booking impacted by travel restrictions or this latest announcement,  contact your Travel Adviser or local store. You can stay up to date by visiting Cook Islands Travel Advisory or the Cook Islands and New Zealand Government COVID-19 websites.

 

General FAQ

Can I use my existing travel credit to book my travel?

If you have Travel Associates store credit on file, you’re welcome to use this towards any booking at Travel Associates. If you have supplier credit held with us (eg. airline, hotel, tour operator) this can only be redeemed on product from that same supplier via Travel Associates. Speak to your Travel Adviser for more information on redeeming your credit.
 

Can I get insurance that will cover me for COVID-19?

We offer travel insurance via our provider CoverMore which covers a wide range of COVID-19 related events. However, there is currently no insurer that will cover expenses incurred in the case of a government mandated lockdown in Australia, Cook Islands or New Zealand.
 
We always recommend purchasing travel insurance for any travel. Speak to your Travel Adviser to find the best option for you.
 

Do I need to wear a mask on the plane?

Yes. You will be required to wear a mask all commercial flights. The airline will provide one for you when boarding if you don’t bring one yourself.
 

What happens if a lockdown occurs before I travel?

If a Government mandated lockdown occurs before you travel which impacts your travel date, your travel may be postponed or cancelled. Each supplier (eg. airline, hotel, theme park) has different policies on customer refunds in the case of a Government lockdown. It is worth understanding these before booking. Any costs incurred as a result of a Government mandated lockdown delaying your trip will be the responsibility of the customer, and cannot be covered by Travel Associates.
 

Will a Travel Associates cancellation fee apply if my travel is disrupted due to COVID-19?

If your travel is cancelled by the supplier or due to a government lockdown, a Travel Associates cancellation fee will not be charged.
 
If you choose to change the date of your trans-Tasman or Cook Islands booking, a $50 per person Travel Associates fee will be applied. If you choose to cancel your booking, a $75 per person Travel Associates cancellation fee will be applied (capped at 4 people per booking). This does not include any supplier fees which may be additional.
 
Fully Flexi Fares are free of charge to date-change and are fully refundable if cancelled. Speak to your Travel Adviser about flexible options for your travel.
 

Should I book a Fully Flexi Fare/ Holiday?

Booking a Fully Flexi Fare or Holiday will allow you the choice to cancel or change the date of your booking without hassle or fees. Speak to your Travel Adviser about the right option for you.
 
Restrictions are often changing, we recommend that you stay up to date with the latest guidelines at safetravel.govt.nz and the official government website of the state that you’re travelling to.

Cook Islands Travel FAQ

For the most up to date information on entering Cook Islands, please visit https://www.health.gov.ck/covid19/ 
 

Am I permitted to enter the Cook Islands? 

To be eligible to travel to or from the Cook Islands and New Zealand on a quarantine-free flight you must first meet the following eligibility criteria: 
 
  • in the 14-day period before travel, you must have been only in New Zealand or the Cook Islands;
  • during the 14-day period before travel, you must not have had a positive COVID-19 test (or if you have, you have written advice from a health practitioner that you are no longer infectious); 
  • you must not be awaiting the results of a COVID-19 test that was undergone during the 14-day period. 

Before you travel to the Cook Islands, you will need to complete the Cook Islands Declaration form at least 24 hours before your departure for the Cook Islands.

Normal immigration rules apply.
 

What are the immigation requirements? 

New Zealand citizens, who meet the quarantine-free-travel eligibility criteria, may travel between Cook Islands and New Zealand without a visa or New Zealand electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA). 
 
For more information and full requirements, see here
 

Do I need to quarantine in the Cook Islands? 

Provided you have been within New Zealand for a minimum of 14 days, as of May 17th, you will not need to quarantine on arrival. If you are experiencing cold & flu symptoms it is not advised for you to travel. If you’re exhibiting signs of being unwell, you are at risk of being refused boarding on your flight. 
 
Under quarantine-free arrangement, people from the Cook Islands can travel directly to New Zealand, and travellers from New Zealand do the same entering the Cook Islands, as long as they meet the eligibility criteria and normal immigration rules.
 

What happens if a lockdown occurs while I’m abroad?

Travellers are advised that a resurgence of COVID-19 could change the conditions you are  travelling under. This could mean your return travel is delayed and you may be asked to: 
 
  • Monitor symptoms on return 
  • Get a pre-departure test 
  • Self-isolate on arrival 
  • In some situations, go into managed isolation
 
By undertaking travel at this time, you are accepting that it will be your responsibility to manage any COVID-19-related travel disruption and associated costs. Please check the terms and  conditions of your tickets and travel insurance. 
 

Do I need a COVID-19 test to travel to/from the Cook Islands?

No, you are not required to have taken a COVID-19 test to enter the Cook Islands. However, you may be asked to take a COVID-19 test during your travel in the process of routine screening. 
 

Do I need a COVID-19 vaccination to travel?

No, you are not required to have had a COVID-19 vaccination to enter the Cook Islands.

Trans-Tasman Travel FAQ

Am I permitted to enter Australia?  

To travel from New Zealand to Australia on a quarantine-free flight, you must meet the criteria set by the Australian Government.  

The current guidelines state that you must have been in New Zealand for a minimum of 14 days to enter Australia quarantine-free. Please be aware that restrictions may change at any time and normal visa entry requirements apply.  

Before you travel to Australia, you will need to complete the Australia Travel Declaration at least 72 hours before your departure for Australia. The Australia Travel Declaration collects your contact details in Australia, flight details, quarantine requirements and your health status. 

Each Australian state has their own additional travel declaration form that needs to be filled out. Both forms must be completed before travel to enter without hassle.  

To find out if you’re eligible to enter Australia quarantine-free see here: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/new-zealand-safe-travel-zone

To find out if you need a visa to enter Australia see here: https://covid19.homeaffairs.gov.au/i-want-apply-visa

Do I need to quarantine in Australia?  

Provided you have been within New Zealand for a minimum of 14 days, you do not currently need to quarantine on arrival in Australia. If you are experiencing cold & flu symptoms it is not advised for you to travel. If you’re exhibiting signs of being unwell, you are at risk of being refused boarding on your flight.  

Upon arrival in Australia there are a few things you will need to do to keep yourself and others safe  from COVID-19:  

Do I need to quarantine on return to New Zealand?  

As of April 19th, if you’re exiting certain states in Australia you may not need to quarantine on return to New Zealand provided you have not travelled outside of New Zealand or Australia for the past 14 days.  

However, there are some states that are currently in varying stages of lockdown which may impact your ability to return quarantine free. Requirements are changing often, it’s important that you stay up to date with Australian and New Zealand travel guidelines to ensure a safe and easy return.  

What happens if a lockdown occurs while I’m abroad? 

Travellers are advised that a resurgence of COVID-19 could change the conditions you are  travelling under. This could mean your return travel is delayed and you may be asked to:  

  • Delay your return travel 

  • Monitor symptoms on return  

  • Get a pre-departure test  

  • Self-isolate on arrival or on location 

  • In some situations, go into managed isolation 
      

By undertaking travel at this time, you are accepting that it will be your responsibility to manage  any COVID-19-related travel disruption and associated costs. Please check the terms and  conditions of your tickets and travel insurance.  

Do I need a COVID-19 test to travel to/from Australia? 

You are not currently required to take a test to enter Australia, however, people coming into New Zealand from Australia for the foreseeable future, are required to obtain a negative PCR test within 72 hours of your departure flight time from Australia to New Zealand.  

PCR tests must be taken via a private testing facility, and you must present a PDF of your test results. A text message, or tests taken via a drive-through/public health centre will not be accepted for travel.  

If you are travelling in Australia for less than 72 hours you may not need to obtain a test.  

For more information regarding compulsory COVID-19 test, see https://covid19.govt.nz/travel/pre-departure-tests-to-enter-new-zealand/