The Bledisole Cup series between the All Blacks and Australia officially has the go-ahead, with confirmation from the Government the Wallabies have been granted a travel exemption to enter the country.
New Zealand Rugby (NZR) had been working with the Government to finalise the exemption so the Australian team could get to the country and prepare for the first test at Eden Park on August 7.
Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson says decisions on where further tests are played will depend on ongoing discussions between NZR and Rugby Australia.
NZR is exploring its options, with a test on Sunday, August 15 at Wellington's Sky Stadium and a mid-week test both possibilities so back-to-back games can be played in New Zealand. Sky Stadium is currently booked for August 13 and 14.
The third test is likely to be played in Western Australia.
"This is important economically. A test match is estimated to be worth between $17 and $20 million in spending for host regions, while the broadcast rights provide much needed income for the sport, which positively effects all levels of the game," said Finance Minister Robertson, explaining the exemption the decision.
"Test rugby between the All Blacks and the Wallabies is keenly anticipated by New Zealanders and I welcome the decision to allow the Australian team to travel given the game was less than two weeks away when trans-Tasman travel was suspended."
Robertson, who's also the Minister for Sport, said the Wallabies will travel on a charter flight from their bubble in Queensland and arrive in Auckland on Friday morning.
"This decision was not taken lightly by the Government and given the Wallabies use of a charter flight, there is no restriction on public access to a return flight to New Zealand."
Quarantine-free travel was paused between New Zealand and Australia for two months on Friday, amid a growing COVID-19 outbreak in New South Wales and cases in several other states.
Join us for live updates of all of the All Blacks' Bledisloe Cup opener against Australia on August 7.