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Grace period for trans-Tasman bubble to end midnight tomorrow

The seven-day travel window for Kiwis to get back from Australia will close tomorrow at midnight. 

Passenger at airport - stock image. Source: istock.com

Acting Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall said demand for travel to get back to New Zealand has dropped off in the last couple of days. 

"We believe most eligible travellers who wish to come back have taken the necessary steps to do so and we’re urging those who might still be deciding to act immediately," Verrall said. 

She said there was about 3000 seats available on airlines. 

"When announcing a temporary suspension of the travel bubble with Australia last week, the Government provided a seven-day grace period for eligible travellers in states and territories other than New South Wales to return."

"Extra flights have been put on where required, for example from Brisbane and Melbourne, and extra capacity has opened up on flights from Perth as people have cancelled their flights. Travellers also have the option to transit via other airports in Australia."

Verrall said based on the advice, the window would close tomorrow at 11.59pm. 

A further 500 MIQ rooms had been made available for people coming back from NSW between August 9 and 22. Already about 2100 people have taken up the 1500 allocated rooms. 

Last Friday, the entire trans-Tasman bubble was suspended for at least eight weeks from tonight, as Covid-19 cases surge in New South Wales and other parts of Australia grapple with the Delta variant. 

The Prime Minister had left the door open to an extension, should demand warrant it