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Do Not Travel overseas at this time
We currently advise that all New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the COVID-19 pandemic, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning to New Zealand, some New Zealanders overseas may need to stay safely where they are until they can return home.
Our 'Do not travel' advisory was issued on 19 March 2020. It currently applies to all overseas destinations except for the Cook Islands (due to the quarantine-free travel arrangement). If you choose to travel overseas despite our advice, our individual destination pages remain an essential of source of information on specific risks and contact information in that destination.
Many countries and territories around the world have imposed strict travel restrictions and airline travel has been severely disrupted.
The global situation remains complex and rapidly changing. While some countries and territories have reopened their borders to travellers, any destination could experience a sudden increase in cases of COVID-19 and a heightened risk to travellers of contracting the virus. Strict travel restrictions could also be imposed suddenly and you may need to remain overseas for much longer than you had planned. In many places the options for New Zealanders to return home to New Zealand, or travel onward to another destination, have reduced significantly and you may not be able to travel as planned.
The Government is committed to continuing to assist New Zealanders overseas where we can. The international situation is complex and can change quickly, and some things are out of our control. Government assisted departure (repatriation) flights should not be relied upon to get home.
We recognise that not all New Zealanders overseas who want to return home have been able to do so. New Zealanders who cannot return home for the time being should take steps to stay safely where they are.
Please note that in some cases the ability of the New Zealand Government to provide consular assistance may be limited due to local restrictions on movement and other services.
Consider whether you have access to health care and support systems if you get sick while overseas. Be aware that you may be placed in quarantine, be required to self-isolate, or be subject to strict movement restrictions at very short notice. Your travel insurance may be affected by COVID-19. Contact your travel insurer if you have questions or concerns about whether you are covered by your insurance policy for any potential COVID-19 related expenses. Make sure you can access money to cover emergencies and unexpected delays.
If you are still considering overseas travel at this time you should be aware that:
- you may be subject to strict movement restrictions or other health measures imposed by local authorities at short notice
- you may be required to undertake a period of quarantine at designated facilities and at your own cost
- your access to health care may be limited due to capacity issues
- your travel insurance may not cover travel disruption or medical expenses
- you may be required to stay in your location for much longer than you had planned and be able to meet ongoing living costs to support yourself
- in some places we may have limited capacity to offer you consular assistance.
Advice for New Zealanders currently overseas
Our most up to date advice on returning home can be found here. For information about New Zealand border restrictions see the Immigration New Zealand website. You can also call Immigration New Zealand on 0508 225 288 (within New Zealand) or +64 9 952 1679 (outside New Zealand).
Pre-departure testing requirements
All travellers to New Zealand (excluding those from Antarctica and most Pacific Islands) must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before departure. Detailed information about pre-departure testing requirements can be found at the Unite Against COVID-19 website here.
All travellers are also required to undertake managed isolation and quarantine upon arrival in New Zealand.
Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) requirements in New Zealand
Detailed information about New Zealand's managed isolation requirements and facilities can be found on the New Zealand Government’s MIQ website. This includes information about what happens when you arrive in New Zealand, what to expect when you arrive at a managed isolation facility, information about your room, meals, exercise and health checks, and information about charges for managed isolation.
In addition to providing a negative pre-departure test result, all travellers entering New Zealand are required to:
- Hold a managed isolation voucher, secured via the allocation system. If you do not hold a voucher, you will be refused boarding.
- go into ‘managed isolation’ in a government-provided facility (hotel), or
- if you have COVID-19 symptoms, go into a quarantine facility (separate hotel).
You will need to stay there for at least 14 days. This will prevent any further unmanaged COVID-19 infection coming into New Zealand. You can’t self-isolate at home, or take a domestic flight before the 14-day period is completed.
New Zealand has a 4-level COVID-19 Alert System. Each Alert Level tells us what measures we need to take in New Zealand. For information about the current New Zealand Alert Level(s), please refer to the New Zealand Government’s Unite Against COVID-19 website.
On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization was informed of cases of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan City. Hubei Province, China. Common signs of infection include respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.
Please see the Ministry of Health website for guidance on prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19. This also includes advice for travellers.
Detailed health information is available on the websites of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For a list of countries, territories and locations with confirmed cases of COVID-19 please see the latest situation report from the WHO.
Information on cruises
In line with our global travel advisory - do not travel overseas at this time - New Zealanders should avoid taking an overseas cruise at this time due to COVID-19. The virus can spread quickly on board cruises due to the close contact between passengers. Some cruise ships have been put into quarantine and denied entry to ports, which can have significant consequences for travellers. If in doubt, consult a medical professional before travelling.
If you choose to go on a cruise despite our advice and you're concerned about the impact of the COVID-19 outbreak on your plans, please contact your travel agent or cruise operator for specific information. Please also check the Australasia website of Cruise Lines International Association (CLIA), which outlines the protocols they put in place for the health and safety of cruise passengers and crew in response to COVID-19. All CLIA member cruise lines are required to implement these protocols.
Border restrictions and public health requirements for airline travel
Travel regulations and restrictions are changing often and at short notice. The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade cannot provide immigration advice about entry, transit or exit requirements for other countries and territories. The border authorities of the country or territory you are travelling to determine your eligibility for entry. If you choose to travel overseas despite our advice, consult the official website or the nearest embassy/consulate of your country or territory of destination to find out about any border controls that may apply to you before travelling.
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) website also provides detailed country and territory specific information about COVID-19-related public health requirements that passengers and airline crew need to follow, both at the airport and onboard aircraft.
Pacific Island countries
Pacific Island countries have been introducing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 to their countries. If you choose to travel to Pacific Island countries despite our advice, check the entry requirements for each destination before travelling. Quarantine-free travel is now available between New Zealand the Cook Islands, more information about quarantine-free travel with the Cook Islands can be found here.