New Zealanders will from Monday be allowed to travel to and from South Australia, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria again after Cabinet agreed to end the travel bubble pause.
Quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and all Australian states and territories was paused from Saturday night as the COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney worsened and more cases were detected in other states.
On Tuesday, when the pause was set to end, Cabinet decided to extend it for the most high-risk states - New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the decision was due to their increasing number of cases.
Queensland is about to enter a snap lockdown after an outbreak grew by another two community cases on Monday, NSW has recorded 19 new locally acquired cases of COVID-19, and Greater Darwin extended its lockdown for another 72 hours on Monday.
"We will review the remaining pause in place for those other states on Tuesday, July 6," Hipkins said.
However a decision has been made in principle to lift the pause for four states - South Australia, ACT, Tasmania and Victoria - from 11:59pm on Sunday July 4.
Hipkins said the announcement will hopefully give people stuck there time to prepare and book new flights.
"We know how important the travel bubble is particularly for families and businesses but we also want to avoid a situation where we have to respond to a case or cases here in New Zealand."
But Hipkins also announced the Government will now require pre-departure testing for travellers from Australia.
"We will extend requirements for those coming into New Zealand from Australia for the foreseeable future to get a pre-departure test within 72 hours of when they are leaving Australia and of course that test will need to show a negative test result," Hipkins said.
"To be eligible to fly, travellers also must not have been in New South Wales on or after 11:59pm on the 22nd of June or in Queensland, the Northern Territory or Western Australia on or after 10:30pm on the 26th of June 2021. Those times align with when our pauses came into effect with those Australian states. We want to ensure New Zealanders aren't unnecessarily barred from coming back to New Zealand where there is no risk or very low risk of COVID-19 but we will, as I said, be monitoring the situation very closely."