Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Travel Insurance

If you’re heading overseas, don’t forget to take out comprehensive travel insurance. Your policy should cover any activities you plan to undertake (from scuba diving to scooter riding), personal liability, medical treatment, emergency medical evacuation, and any pre-existing medical conditions. Even minor medical treatment can be very expensive overseas.

Democratic Republic of the Congo: Ebola virus

On 1 August 2018, the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) Government confirmed an outbreak of the Ebola virus in North Kivu province, originating in Béni territory. On 24 September a case was also confirmed in Tchomia, a town on the Ugandan border approximately 200 kilometres north of the current hotspot of Beni.Between 4 May and 15 October 2018, 216 EVD cases have been reported, of which 181 are confirmed and 35 are probable.

Papua New Guinea: Temporary Suspension of Visa on Arrival

As part of enhanced border security measures related to APEC Leaders’ Week, Papua New Guinea will temporarily suspend visa on arrival for all foreign nationals from 30 October to 30 November 2018. The suspension will not affect travellers who already hold a valid paper visa. During this time, travellers should apply for a visa through their nearest Papua New Guinea Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.

Istanbul, Turkey: Airport Opening

Istanbul’s new airport is scheduled to open officially on Monday 29 October 2018, with commercial flights gradually transferred from Istanbul’s existing Ataturk International Airport (IST) through until the end of December 2018. Flights will be operating into/out of both airports during this period of transition. Flight delays, cancellations and traffic congestion around both airports are likely to occur during this period.

Indonesia: 7.5 Earthquake

On 28 September 2018 a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. A tsunami later hit the coastal town of Palu and other parts of the Central Sulawesi province, sweeping houses and buildings on its way. More than 1,700 people have been confirmed dead and many are injured.

New Language for Travel Advisories

We have changed the language we use within our travel advisory levels categories, to make them more useful for New Zealanders travelling overseas.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade now uses a four level system to give advice in each of our travel advisories:

-   Exercise normal safety and security precautions (previously “no significant security risk”)

-   Exercise increased caution (previously “some risk”)

-   Avoid non-essential travel (previously “high risk”)

Indonesia: Bali: Mount Agung Volcano

There was a marked increase in seismic activity from Mt Agung Volcano in Bali, Indonesia during 2018. Eruptions occured in late June and early July, and the potential for further activity remains.
Ash clouds have previously disrupted air travel in and out of Bali, further ash clouds could cause airport closures and the cancellation of flights at short notice. For more information please see Bali International Airport’s website.

Nicaragua: Civil Unrest

There has been a prolonged period of political unrest and street violence in many areas in Nicaragua since mid-April 2018. This has involved the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, causing many serious casualties and fatalities. There is potential for further violence and disorder – marches and demonstrations continue, particularly in and around Managua and Masaya. Major transport routes are frequently blocked, including land borders, and crime has increased significantly since the protests began, resulting in looting and food shortages.