Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group

Plans for re-opening trans-Tasman travel are gathering momentum with the establishment of a new business-led expert group to investigate and develop recommended solutions for the safe reopening of borders between Australia and New Zealand.

The ANZLF announced the formation of the ‘Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group’ on 5th May following the joint announcement by the Australian and New Zealand Prime Ministers of their commitment to introducing a trans-Tasman COVID-safe travel zone as soon as it is safe to do so. This Group is being lead by the ANZLF Tourism Sector Group Co-Chairs, Margy Osmond and Scott Tasker. 

The Trans-Tasman Safe Border Group is a joint working group made up of health experts and airline, airport and border agency representatives from each country who will develop a comprehensive proposal for safely reopening the air border for Australian and New Zealand citizens and permanent residents without the need for a 14-day compulsory quarantine or self-isolation period on arrival in the destination country.

The package of recommendations will be shared with Ministers on both sides of the Tasman. They will make the final decision on when and how the air border can be safely reopened.

The group will focus on two core workstreams - airfield, crew, aircraft and other ground handling and operational components, and a second workstream focused on passengers, including inflight protocols, border processing, embarking and disembarking and robust health requirements, such as testing and contact tracing for visitors in country. The Group has commenced meetings to work towards putting forward a plan to both governments to consider for the reopening of the trans-Tasman border when it is deemed safe to do so.

Establishing Australia-New Zealand travel will support important links that are vital to both economies, particularly tourism, which needs all the help it can get.

Working Groups

The working groups are operating on a fast working model that will get them to answers quickly and efficiently.

The five working groups are supported by a Health Advisory Panel comprising nominees from the Ministry of Health, Auckland District Health Board and Air New Zealand’s Chief Medical Officer.  That Advisory Panel will have input into all of the working groups.

The working groups comprise subject matter experts drawn from:

  • key airports (including Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch, Queenstown, Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane)
  • key airlines (including Air New Zealand and Qantas and the Board of Airline Representatives of New Zealand Inc.)
  • key government departments (including the New Zealand Ministry of Health, Internal Affairs, Immigration NZ, MBIE, Ministry of Transport, Ministry for Primary Industries, NZ Customs, Aviation Security Service and Foreign Affairs & Trade, the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, and the Australian Border Force.)

The five working groups will bring a deep focus of attention to these five elements of the traveller journey:

  • Pre-travel (booking)
  • Outbound travel (at the airport)
  • In-flight
  • Inbound(at the airport)
  • At destination

The working groups will engage regularly with the Health Advisory Panel and will report regularly to a group of Senior Sponsors whose role is to provide feedback and questions at key points during the process. 

Read the press release here