trans tasman bubble news

latest update re the covid-19 traffic light system

As of 11:59pm on Thursday 2 December 2021, all of New Zealand moved to the new Covid-19 Traffic Light System (FYI the official name for this system is the “COVID-19 Protection Framework” in case you see that somewhere and aren’t sure if it’s the right info).

This means that after midnight tonight, Thursday 2 December 2021, Auckland, Northland, Bay of Plenty, Gisborne, and Manawatu-Wanganui regions will move to the Red Alert Level in the New Covid Traffic Light System.  All of the rest of the country including Queenstown (part of the Southern District Health Board) will move to Orange.

(Here’s a link to the official Life at Orange page on the covid19.govt.nz website and here’s a guide to public & private gatherings at Orange).

Obviously,  have a read of the official information for yourself, but here’s my summary of the latest situation with regards to;

  1. Public & Private Events during the Orange Traffic Light Alert Level for Queenstown, and
  2. The current border/entry to NZ status.

Public & Private Events during the Orange Traffic Light Alert Level for Queenstown

With My Vaccine Pass

If a gathering chooses to follow My Vaccine Pass requirements, only people with a My Vaccine Pass are allowed to be there. Children under the age of 12 years and 3 months do not need to provide a My Vaccine Pass to enter places with a vaccination requirement.

You will be asked to show your My Vaccine Pass when you are at the venue.

There is no limit to how many people can be at the venue.

 

Without My Vaccine Pass

If a venue for a gathering chooses not to follow My Vaccine Pass requirements:

  • At a gathering at your home, there can be up to 50 people.
  • At gatherings held at other venues, there can be up to 50 people based on 1-metre physical distancing in a single defined space at the venue at any time.

They can be a mix of people with and without My Vaccine Pass.

The limit applies to both indoor and outdoor venues.

The limit includes children. It does not include staff.

The current border/entry to NZ status.

From January 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealanders can begin travelling to New Zealand without entering MIQ. Here is our 3-step plan:

  1. Opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and other travellers eligible under our current settings from Australia — from 11:59 pm on 16 January 2022 (provided they have been in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days).
  2. Opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and other travellers eligible under our current settings from all but very high risk countries — from 11:59pm on Sunday 13 February 2022.
  3. Opening to fully vaccinated foreign nationals — from 30 April 2022 onwards.

If you are not entering MIQ, you will have to meet some requirements, for example self-isolation.


Requirements for those not going into MIQ

We have a clear, simple and safe plan, including a mandatory period of self-isolation. The border will open in 3 steps, and all travellers who do not have to go into MIQ will still require:

  • 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, and
  • a final negative test before entering the community

trans tasman bubble news

In the latest Covid News, the NZ government has recently released a Covid-19 update titled “Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps”.

You can read the full article here, but the short version is as follows;

The covid19.govt.nz article leads with this;

“Fully vaccinated travellers and other eligible travellers can travel to New Zealand from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11:59pm on Sunday 16 January 2022”.

However, reading further down the page they explain that they will be taking a 3 step approach to opening up NZ’s borders (somewhat in contradiction to the above statement) as follows;

  1. Opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current settings from Australia from 11:59 pm on 16 January 2022 (provided they have been in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days).
  2. Opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings, from all but very high risk countries, from 11:59pm on Sunday 13 February 2022.
  3. Opening to fully vaccinated foreign nationals (possibly staged by visa category), from 30 April 2022 onwards.

Additionally, it seems there will still be a mandatory period of self-isolation (details TBC presumably).

So, attempting to put all the above into plain and simple English, this is my interpretation of this latest Trans Tasman Bubble News;

  • If you are an NZ citizen or hold NZ residency, you are fully vaccinated and you have been in Australia 2 – 16 January (roughly, ie 14 days before the borders open at midnight on Sunday 16 January 2022), you will be able to travel to New Zealand from 11:59pm on Sunday 16 January 2022.  However, I believe there will still be a mandatory period of self-isolation (details TBC presumably).  I have no idea what the government means by “other travellers eligible under our current settings”.  When they say current settings, do they mean the settings that will be in effect from midnight 16 January 2022 when the trans-tasman bubble opens?  Or do they mean the current settings pre-Trans-Tasman Bubble?  And, other than NZ citizens and residence-holders, who are the other eligible travellers?  Presumably Australian citizens?  Maybe Australian residence-holders?  But who else?  This is not clear to me at all.
  • If you are an NZ citizen or hold NZ residency, you are fully vaccinated and you have NOT been in Australia 2 – 16 January (roughly, ie 14 days before the borders open at midnight on Sunday 16 January 2022), you will be able to travel to New Zealand from 11:59pm on Sunday 13 February 2022 but I believe there will still be a mandatory period of self-isolation (details TBC presumably).  Again, this step also mentions “other travellers eligible under our current settings” and again, I have no idea what this actually means.  People traveling from high-risk countries will be excluded.
  • Fully vaccinated nationals from countries other then New Zealand (and possibly Australia?) will be eligible to travel to NZ without going into MIQ from 30 April 2022 onwards – but this might be staged by Visa category.

The covid19.govt.nz website says the following is required by “all travellers who do have to go into MIQ will still require” but this seems to be a typo.  If somebody had to go into MIQ they obviously would not have to self-isolate.  So, I am going to go out on a limb and change the “who do have to” to “who do not have to” which equates to the following for all those who wish to travel to NZ without going into MIQ when the Trans-Tasman bubble opens;

We have a clear, simple and safe plan, including a mandatory period of self-isolation. The border will open in 3 steps, and all travellers who DO NOT have to go into MIQ will still require:

  • 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, and
  • A final negative test before entering the community

There is a fair amount of vagueness in the article and, as I mentioned, I suspect there is one absolutely major typo (see above) so this needs a lot of clarification to be interpretable for people.I will do some digging into this Trans Tasman Bubble News and see if I can get some clarification – I will add any updates here.

You can watch the replay of the government announcement on Youtube here or by clicking on the image below.


trans tasman bubble news

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If you are planning a wedding or other photo shoot in Queenstown and need help to wrap your head around the rapidly evolving Trans Tasman Bubble news, please get in touch here.

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About the Author

Patrick Fallon is a full time wedding photographer based in beautiful Queenstown New Zealand.
While wedding photography these days makes up 70% of his work he also loves shooting action sports (especially mountain biking and skiing) and commercial photography.
He lives in Queenstown with his partner Jada, their wee daughter Juniper and their dog Arrow.

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