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NZ Govt announces managed return flights for Kiwis stranded in Victoria

NZ Govt announces managed return flights for Kiwis stranded in Victoria

A pause in quarantine-free travel from Victoria to New Zealand has been extended by a further six days.

NZ Govt announces managed return flights for Kiwis stranded in Victoria

However, the government has announced that New Zealanders stranded in Victoria will be allowed to fly to New Zealand from 11.59pm on 8 June, provided they test negative to COVID-19 less than 72 hours before departure.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins acknowledged in a statement that New Zealanders stranded in Victoria “will be wanting some certainty around when they can start to plan to come home”.

“The Government has announced plans for the carefully managed commencement of return ‘green flights’ from Melbourne to New Zealand, from Tuesday 8 June at 11:59pm,” he said.

“Travel on such flights will be limited to New Zealand citizens, Australian citizens normally resident in New Zealand, people with humanitarian exemptions and critical workers who are stranded in Victoria.

“Officials are continuing to work on details of how seats will be allocated if demand for these flights exceeds supply. These details will be provided on the COVID-19 website in coming days.

“Anyone boarding these flights will need to have a negative pre-departure test taken less than 72 hours before departure.”

Hipkins said New Zealand health officials have conducted an assessment of the public health risk and have determined that by 9 June, the risk to public health of people returning from Melbourne will be low.

“The commencement of flights recognises that by then, people currently in Victoria will have completed 14 days in lockdown,” Hipkinds said.

“This reflects the equivalent time which might have been spent in managed isolation in New Zealand.”

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