With international travel currently out of reach for all Australians, many have been flocking to the diverse and beautiful landscapes of our closest neighbour, New Zealand, through the Trans-Tasman bubble, including many snow bunnies keen to hit the slopes.
While the bubble is currently paused to travellers from Western Australia, New South Wales and Queensland due to COVID outbreaks, many travellers from the remaining eligible states, including South Australia, have been shocked to find out negative pre-departure test results are required to enter New Zealand.
Even those who have received their COVID-19 vaccinations will still be required to take a test and return negative pre-departure results ahead of any planned trips to the North or South Island.
The COVID sample and tests results are required to be returned no more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure time of your flight, with a negative PCR or RT-PCR pre-departure test required for entry.
The testing and result certificates required for travel clearance must be provided by private pathology clinics where they can cost up to $220 per person rather than free public test sites such as through drive-through test centres favoured by most Australians.
This new requirement was added by the New Zealand government last week, in an effort to avoid any of the influx of COVID outbreaks seen across Australia making their way into New Zealand, which has navigated its way through the pandemic relatively unscathed.
Testing is required for all passengers over the age of 2, and for a family of four, can see an already expensive holiday to New Zealand skyrocket in cost by as much as $800 for the required tests.
Those who have however been at exposure sites cannot travel to New Zealand until 14 days after their exposure, even if they can provide a negative pre-departure test.