Ask Me Anything

Ask me anything: Simon Calder answers your questions as Australia and New Zealand announce phased reopenings

The Independent’s renowned travel correspondent will be on hand to answer your questions following the latest travel updates

Thursday 25 November 2021 10:12
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<p>Christchurch, New Zealand</p>

Christchurch, New Zealand

Although surging Covid figures in several European countries are prompting concerns for winter holidays and city breaks, things are looking slightly brighter for travel in the southern hemisphere.

Both Australia and New Zealand have announced dates for phased reopenings. While the first beneficiaries will be citizens and residents finally able to return home without onerous restrictions, there is also now light at the end of the tunnel for international tourists.

From 1 December 2021, fully vaccinated eligible visa holders will be able to return to Australia without needing to apply for a travel exemption. These include those travelling on the popular working holiday visa, as well as skilled and student cohorts, humanitarian, temporary and provisional family visa holders.

Meanwhile, the New Zealand government announced a staggered strategy for lifting border restrictions: fully vaccinated Kiwis will be permitted to enter New Zealand from Australia from 16 January, and from the rest of the world from 13 February, without having to quarantine in a facility (though self-isolation will still be required).

The travel ban on fully vaccinated foreign tourists will then be lifted from 30 April.

So are you safe to book an Australasian trip for 2022 - and, closer to home, should you hold off planning a European break while Covid rates are high?

Our expert Simon Calder will be on hand to answer all your latest travel questions in an ‘Ask me anything’ later today (Thursday, 25 November). He will be answering live in the comments section below between 4pm and 5pm.

Register to submit your question in the comments box under this article. If you’re not already a member, click “sign up” in the comments section to leave your question.

Don’t worry if you can’t see your question – they will be hidden until Simon joins the conversation to answer them.

Then join us live on this page from 4-5pm as Simon tackles as many of your travel queries as he can within an hour.

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