In another sign of Melbourne’s re-emergence from its lockdown nightmare, direct flight between Victoria’s capital and New Zealand will be allowed to resume next week.
Premier Daniel Andrews said on Friday that he had written to PM Scott Morrison to announce Melbourne would be open to Kiwi-based travellers from Monday 9 November.
Whether flights will begin immediately was unclear at the time of writing, particularly given that New Zealand currently requires all travellers from Australia to quarantine if they wish to enter that country.
“It may not happen on the night, but that’s when we’re happy to have it happen and it will be a matter for airlines and the airport to make the practical changes to give effect to that,” he stated.
No quarantine requirement in Victoria
Andrews confirmed at a press briefing there would be no quarantine requirement in Victoria. “New Zealanders will be able to travel direct to Melbourne and throughout Victoria,” he said.
“While we found ourselves inadvertently in the New Zealand bubble, I’m not sure if bubbles have doors but the front door will now be [open].”
According to a report by ABC News, Victoria has recorded its seventh consecutive day without any new coronavirus cases being notified and a number of restrictions are expected to ease on Sunday, including the removal of the ‘ring of steel’ separating regional Victoria and Melbourne.
Next step is welcoming overseas travellers
A report by the News.com.au website said airlines have welcomed the announcement as good news for people wanting to travel directly to Melbourne and Victoria.
At the press briefing, Andrews suggested the next logical step after the New Zealand reopening of flights would be to reboot hotel quarantine as soon as possible and receive flights with returned overseas travellers.
“That will be a challenge though, because [while] Victoria is reporting very low numbers [and] Australia is reporting very low numbers, [in] so many parts of the world this virus is completely and utterly out of control,” the Premier emphasised.