It looks like Aucklanders will get the gift of travel just in time for Christmas, but there are caveats.
Aucklanders will be allowed to leave the city from 15 December if they are fully vaccinated or test negative for Covid-19 72 hours before departure, says Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
During today's 1pm press conference, Ardern said the city will move to red on the Covid-19 Protection Framework soon after an announcement on 29 November.
Two weeks later, on Wednesday 15 December, Aucklanders will then be allowed to leave the city and travel to different regions by presenting a vaccine pass or negative test taken within 72 hours of departure.
The boundary will be two ways meaning people from around New Zealand will also be allowed to enter Auckland under the same regulations.
Meanwhile, families shouldn't fret, as the vaccination requirement would not be applied to children under 12 years old.
Ardern said the reason for a two-week gap was to allow the whole country time to transition to stage red in the framework.
This requirement will stay in place until 17 January when it will be reassessed. From that point, Ardern said high vaccination levels, testing and certificates would be used to slow the spread rather than 'hard borders'.
As for what the process of driving out of Auckland will actually look like, details are yet to be confirmed.
However, Ardern said police would have operational discretion when it came to checking people's vaccine status or negative tests.
"Police undertake random spot checks to enforce a range of laws on our roads, such as drink driving, and will take the same approach here," she said.
Those caught breaking the rules will face an infringement fine of $1,000.
Domestic flights out of Auckland
Travellers flying out of Auckland Airport will be subject to the same requirements. Vaccination status' or negative tests will be reviewed during check-in.
Those taking a ferry between Wellington and Picton will also need to provide proof of vaccination or a negative pre-departure test in order to travel.
Travel within a city
On a city-wide scale, travel will remain largely the same. Face coverings will continue to be mandatory on public transport, in taxis, retail, public venues, and recommended whenever leaving the house.
Record keeping and scanning in will also continue to be required.
Fate of the Trans-Tasman bubble
Similarly, those hoping for Christmas in Australia may be out of luck.
Regarding the Trans-Tasman bubble, Hipkins said the Government aimed to move carefully and make changes that would "stick" rather than rush into decisions that could be repealed.
The number of returning residents and citizens could be as high as 50,000 per week and Hipkins said multiple factors would determine how many MIQ rooms were available following the decision to half MIQ stay time and incorporate home isolation.
International travel pushed to 2022
Those curious about the future of international travel will have to wait a little longer for any concrete news.
During today's announcement, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said further decisions around the international border were not yet confirmed however substantial changes would likely not happen until early next year.
Specific dates would be provided before the end of the year.
For more details about local travel and recreation visit: covid19.govt.nz