Post-Covid-19 travel: Australia and New Zealand top candidates following UK guidelines
Sponsored article: Both Australia and New Zealand are listed as ‘green' countries, meaning they are safe for travel. However, a visa is still mandatory for both countries once the borders open.
For a long while, due to Covid-19 mutations and repeated outbreaks, travelling abroad seemed like it would remain an impossibility for at least the remainder of 2021. However, on 17 May the UK government published a comprehensive guideline regarding travel abroad.
Covid peak appears to have been reached in UK
Just a few months ago, in January 2021, the UK had at one point more than 60,000 new daily Covid-19 infections. This led to immense strain on the NHS and other public services. Thankfully, these harrowing figures are now well and truly a thing of the past. With vaccinations progressing well (75% of adults have received at least one dose), infection numbers have been dropping rapidly. The latest measurements showed around 3,300 new infections per day, a massive drop compared to the peak earlier this year. This has allowed the government to push through some much needed relaxations.
Travel guidelines: red, amber and green
In addition, the government felt that now was the right time to offer some more clarity regarding travel abroad. Ever since the coronavirus took hold in the UK, travel abroad has been restricted. Some of these restrictions are now being lifted. However, this does not mean that you can book your holiday flight tickets right away. Each country has dealt with Covid-19 in its own way, with varying results. As such, there are different rules in place regarding travel to certain countries. These have been divided into 'red', 'amber' and 'green' lists.
Unsurprisingly, travel to countries on the red and amber lists is strongly advised against. These include countries like India (with an average of 170,000 new infections per day) and Brazil (average 60,000 new infections per day), as well as a number of African countries that are seeing a sudden rise in infections and deaths.
In addition to health concerns, travelling to these countries for whatever reason is also not recommended for convenience's sake. The UK quarantine rules for returning travellers are very strict (especially for red countries), involving multiple Covid-19 tests and mandatory quarantine, as well as providing detailed information about your travels. Failure to observe these requirements can lead to fines of up to £10,000.
Australia and New Zealand
Both Australia and New Zealand have been placed on the green list with regards to travel. This means that returning travellers do not need to quarantine in the UK. They must still take the mandatory Covid-19 test, however, and if tested positive quarantine is still required.
It is no surprise that either of these countries appear on the green list. With just over 10 new daily cases, Australia is far below that of virtually all other countries in the world, including those that are seeing rapid vaccinations. New Zealand has received praise since the start of the pandemic, and the country was among the first to introduce relaxations for the domestic population, such as permitting sports gatherings. According to the latest figures, no Covid-19 deaths have been reported in New Zealand for close to a month.
Travel ban and visas
Unsurprisingly, more and more people are looking to the lands down under for their next holiday abroad. However, just because the UK government deems these countries safe for travel does not mean that UK travellers can automatically go there. Currently, no foreign visitors are being permitted to both Australia and New Zealand save for very pressing reasons. However, Covid-19 rules around the world are subject to change on a weekly basis. Depending on how vaccination rollouts progress globally, the travel ban might be lifted in the near future.
In addition to their own Covid-19 rules, New Zealand and Australia both have strict visa requirements for British citizens. Should the borders open in the (near) future, a visa will still be mandatory to board any plane heading to either Australia or New Zealand. For Australia, the cheapest and most applied for visa type is the eVisitor Australia visa, which can be acquired online and does not require a visit to the embassy. The recommended New Zealand visa type is the NZeTA visa, or New Zealand electronic Travel Authority. This functions in much the same way as the eVisitor visa for Australia in that it is applied for online and not at the embassy.
Find out more about visas to travel to Australia and New Zealand.