In welcome news for those itching to cross the ditch this winter, New Zealand has brought forward its reopening dates for vaccinated Australians, who can now enter the country from as soon as 11.59pm on April 12.

Earlier this year, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern unveiled a five-stage plan to reopen the country to visitors, starting with citizens and certain visa holders. Australians without citizenship or visas were expecting to be able to visit New Zealand from July, but today Ardern said she’ll welcome back vaxxed Aussies from next month.

“In particular, I look forward to welcoming back our trans-Tasman travellers, who have historically made up 40 per cent of our international arrivals,” said Ardern in a press conference on Wednesday March 16.

Travellers are required to have a negative Covid-19 test before they leave Australia, plus two negative tests when they arrive, and one on day six of their stay. Australians won’t be required to self-isolate on arrival and rapid antigen tests will be provided at the airport on arrival.

The PM said tourists from visa-waiver countries, such as the US and UK, would be able to travel to New Zealand without the need to self-isolate from 11.59pm on May 1.