First one-way quarantine-free arrivals from Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu, and Tokelau at Auckland Airport

09 November 2021

Terminal access remains restricted under current Alert Level settings

The first quarantine-free arrivals from Tonga in 20 months will touch down at Auckland Airport this evening.

In coming weeks, flights from Tonga will be joined by arrivals from Samoa and Vanuatu and Tokelau travelling quarantine-free for the first time since the outbreak of the COVID pandemic.

Anna Cassels-Brown, General Manager Operations at Auckland Airport, welcomed the return of quarantine-free links for communities here in New Zealand and in the Islands.

“Given the one-way nature of the arrangement, passenger volumes will be low, but for the families reconnecting it will be a wonderful first step towards two-way travel,” said Ms Cassels-Brown.

Under the current Alert Level settings, access is restricted at Auckland Airport terminal buildings to just those who are travelling.

“Unfortunately, this means we won’t be able to allow people meeting their family and friends to enter the terminal. We know this will be disappointing to those who enjoy the excitement of the airport welcome – I know as staff these emotional homecomings are special too.

“But to protect everyone’s health we ask that people only send along those necessary to transport their loved ones from the airport and instead celebrate their welcome safely at home.”

Arriving passengers will use Zone A: the safe travel zone, the main pier of the terminal which is used exclusively by arrivals from countries with quarantine-free travel arrangements with New Zealand. International Passengers arriving into MIQ use a fully separated processing area on Pier B, before being transported directly from the terminal pier to management isolation.

With terminal facilities closed under Alert Level 3, people going to the airport to meet passengers off arriving quarantine-free flights are asked to time their journey close to the expected arrival time.

“We hope we’ll be able to restart these operations soon and welcome everyone into our terminals, but for now we ask people to plan carefully when coming to the airport to pick-up arriving passengers.”