Auckland Airport gears up for trans-Tasman bubble opening with red, green zones

Staff at Auckland Airport are rushing to restock duty-free shopping centres with goods for Australian travellers to buy in 10 days' time. 

The country's biggest airport has spent months preparing for a bubble, which requires splitting its arrivals terminal in two. 

In just over a week, Auckland's international terminal will be inundated with Aussies.

Auckland Airport Operations General Manager Anna Cassels-Brown says they're "100 percent ready".

To bring on the bubble come April 19th, Auckland Airport has split its arrivals terminal in half. 

The green zone for new quarantine-free flyers will look just like it did before COVID-19, and they'll even get a chance to shop, with retailers gearing up for a grand opening. 

"Certainly the duty free operators need to stock up with all of the usual offerings they would carry," said Cassels-Brown.

The green zone is good to go, but behind the barrier it's like another world.  

The red zone at Auckland International Airport has been set up for travellers who still require quarantining. After a lengthy process they'll end up there, before they get on a bus to a managed isolation facility.

The red zone is for anyone arriving from anywhere other than Australia, Niue and the Cook Islands. Requirements include social distancing, health checks and heaps of hand sanitiser. 

Passengers from a dozen flights have gone through the red zone since November to stress test the system. 

"We've tested a variety of scenarios," says Cassels-Brown. "Very full flights, multiple flights back to back."

The Ministry of Health staff approved the zones this week, so it's all systems go. 

Aussies, your welcome mat is ready and waiting.