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First ‘no-quarantine’ flights arrive into Australia as virus cases fall

Hundreds of New Zealand plane passengers started arriving in Sydney on Friday as part of a new trans-Tasman travel bubble amid a rapidly falling growth rate in cases at the epicentre of Australia’s coronavirus outbreak.

In a tentative re-opening to international tourism, travellers on the approved flights won’t be required to quarantine in Sydney, authorities said.

The arrangements, however, are not yet reciprocal, with New Zealand requiring arrivals to be quarantined for two weeks under supervision at the cost of NZ$3,100 ($2,045) for the first person and more for additional family members.

Around 90 percent of those travelling on Friday with Air New Zealand are booked to travel one-way, the airline said, as reported by Reuters.

While Australia has endured a second wave of infections, the caseload is modest compared to outbreaks in much of Europe and North America. 

Travellers from New Zealand on ‘no-quarantine’ flights will be able to go to New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory without having to undergo quarantine upon arrival, authorities said. 

The states of Western Australia, Queensland and Tasmania have either closed borders or limited entry which can include quarantine periods, while Victorians are heavily restricted in where they can travel.

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