If you have a U.S. passport that means you’re probably not going to make ski season in New Zealand and Australia happen this year. This will mark two southern winters in a row where skiing & snowboarding will be off-limits to foreigners down under.
- Related: Ski Season in South America Likely Off-Limits to U.S. Citizens This Year: Chile and Argentina Extend Mandatory Quarantine for Travelers, Bar Americans from Entry
In 2020, international travel to New Zealand and Australia was restricted as both nations barred entry to foreigners due to pandemic concerns. Although there has been some recent progress and New Zealand has been praised for handling the pandemic well by implementing strict travel and quarantine restrictions since global lockdowns began in March of 2020, Americans still won’t be able to travel to either nation for the rest of the year. That means no ski season for Americans wanting to vacation in either New Zealand or Australia during their winters, which usually last from June-October.
- Currently, there’s a travel ban in place for overseas travel from Australia.
- Tourists, aside from those coming from New Zealand, are not currently allowed to enter Australia. Only Australian citizens, residents, and immediate family members are permitted to travel to Australia. No Americans.
- On July 2, the federal government rolled out a four-stage pathway out of the pandemic. Prime Minister Scott Morrison says that Australia is going through phase one, with the goal of administering vaccines and lowering the limit of international arrivals. Phase one is expected to be in place until the end of the year.
- According to the U.S. embassy in Australia, the Australian government requires all individuals traveling to or transiting through Australia, with limited exceptions, to provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 (PCR) test at the time of check-in. The test must be taken 72 hours or less prior to departure. Additionally, masks are mandatory for passengers and crew on all international and domestic flights.
- Travellers from New Zealand coming to Australia and vice versa will no longer be required to quarantine upon arrival.
- Reuters reports that 26.8% of Australia’s population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccinations and 9.1% have been fully vaccinated.
- Other than a few exceptions for partners, dependents, and critical workers, only New Zealand residents and citizens are allowed into the country without first requesting to travel, according to CNN Travel.
- U.S. Citizens are not currently allowed to travel to New Zealand, according to the U.S. embassy in New Zealand.
- All of New Zealand is at Alert Level 1, the lowest restriction level. Face coverings must be worn on public transport and domestic flights, and it’s recommended to keep a safe distance from others when out and about, but otherwise, life can continue relatively as normal.
- In January, New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that New Zealand’s borders will remain closed for most of this year, aside from pursuing travel arrangements with neighboring Australia and other Pacific nations, CNN Travel reports.
- Reuters reports that 15.6% of New Zealand’s population have received at least one dose of COVID-19 vaccinations and 10.2% have been fully vaccinated.
The U.S. Department of State has issued a Travel Advisory for Australia and New Zealand of Level 3: Reconsider Travel due to COVID-19-related travel restrictions.
As of right now, there are five ski areas open in Australia and eight open in New Zealand. American skiers & snowboarders hoping to ski in Australia or New Zealand this season will most likely have to postpone winter plans until 2022.
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