Arriving back in New Zealand

Advice if you are arriving back in New Zealand.

Accessible formats

The information on this page is also available in accessible formats:

Restrictions on entering New Zealand

Only New Zealand citizens and residents can enter New Zealand.

You will be placed in a hotel under what is called managed isolation.

Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 will be taken to a different hotel for quarantine.

You will need to stay in the hotel for at least 14 days.

There will be strict conditions around access to the outdoors and interactions with others; this will not change as the New Zealand alert levels go up or down.

When you arrive in New Zealand

Government officials will explain what will be happening and answer any questions.

You will then be screened for COVID-19 symptoms such as a high temperature.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you are waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test you will go to the quarantine hotel. Otherwise, you will go to one of the hotels being used for managed isolation.

At the hotel

You will be assigned a room for your stay, taking into account how many people are with you.

You won’t need to pay for the accommodation or meals, they will be provided.

In managed isolation you will have opportunities to take a short walk for fresh air.

In quarantine you won’t be able to go outside.

The government repatriation team will be in regular contact and can provide any support you need.

Food at the hotel

All meals are provided, so there is no need to bring food with you. Remember that New Zealand has strict biosecurity laws about bringing food into the country.

Information about bringing food and other risk items into New Zealand (external link)

Hotels being used for isolation or quarantine can’t store food.

Let staff know as soon as possible if you have dietary requirements. Hotels will do their best to give you what you need.

You can drink alcohol in managed isolation, just remember to drink in moderation.

What to bring to New Zealand

You won’t be able to go to the shops when you arrive, so bring everything you need for daily life.

  • Clothes — around a week’s worth. Each person will be able to do two bags of laundry during their stay.
  • Toiletries — for example toothpaste and toothbrush, shaving equipment and sanitary products.
  • New Zealand dollars, if possible.
  • Things to entertain yourself and any children you have with you. Bring any devices that will help pass the time as you will be spending a lot of time in the hotel room. There will be TV and Wi-Fi in your room.

Leaving managed isolation or quarantine

Managed isolation

You will be able to leave managed isolation after 14 days.

You’ll be asked for details about your onward travel plans and where you will be staying. If you need help with accommodation our team can support you with making arrangements.

Quarantine

You will be able to leave quarantine after you have:

  • spent at least 14 days in quarantine, and
  • been free of COVID-19 symptoms for at least 48 hours.

You will also need to have a travel plan and tell us about where you plan to be staying.

Limited exemptions

There are no exemptions from quarantine for people with COVID-19 symptoms.

A very small number of people may be eligible for exemption from managed isolation.

If an exemption is granted, you must still complete your 14-day self-isolation at home.

You can apply for an exemption either before you fly to New Zealand or while in managed isolation.

Exemption categories

The exemption categories are as follows.

  • A minor who is travelling alone. This exemption allows a parent or caregiver to join the minor in managed isolation, not for the minor to leave self-isolation.
  • Individuals arriving as medical transfers. If you’re being transferred to hospital, a letter from the DHB verifying they will enable self-isolation in hospital. If you’re discharged from hospital within 14 days of arriving you will be required to complete the time in a managed isolation facility.
  • Individuals with physical or other needs that cannot be appropriately accommodated at the managed facilities. Applications in this category need to be supported with clinical evidence from a registered medical practitioner. Needs considered are the needs of the individual arriving in New Zealand, not of others already in New Zealand.
  • Workers critical to the COVID-19 response required to undertake tasks during the 14 days isolation. Applications in this category need to be supported by a letter from the relevant government department, essential service employers or lifeline utility.
  • People with exceptional circumstances such as wanting to visit a loved one near the end of their life or attend a funeral or tangihanga. Applications in this category need to be supported by medical details of the person being visited, permission from any facility the person is in. After attending the funeral or tangihanga you will need to return to managed isolation.

Apply for an exemption

To apply, complete the application form and email it to MI_Exemptions@health.govt.nz with the subject "Application for exemption from managed isolation".

Application form for exemption from managed self-isolation (external link)

The information you are required to provide includes:

  • the full name of all those applying for exemption as in the passport used to enter New Zealand
  • date of birth
  • National Health Index (NHI) number if known
  • the flight number and date of arrival in New Zealand if not yet booked, provide planned dates
  • a statement setting out your reasons for needing an exemption, along with any supporting evidence or documents
  • your suggested self-isolation plan including where you will stay, and your proposed travel plan to the self-isolation location, for example, private car.

Guidance on what to include in your self-isolation plan (external link)

Appeals process

If you applied for an exemption and it was declined, you can request that your application be reconsidered. To have your application reconsidered, email MI_Exemptions@health.govt.nz and provide the details of your original application with any requested additional information.

If you are unhappy with your review decision, or if you have not received a review decision promptly, you can complain directly to the Ombudsman via the Ombudsman’s website or email info@ombudsman.parliament.nz with ‘Urgent exemption complaint’ in the subject line.

If you need assistance

Call the free government helpline on 0800 779 997, 8am to 5pm, 7 days a week.

For advice, support and general enquiries please call 0800 22 66 57, 8am to 5pm, Monday to Friday and 8am to 5pm, weekends and public holidays.

Find COVID-19 information from Immigration New Zealand (external link)

Or call Immigration New Zealand on 0508 225 288 or +64 9 952 1679 if you’re outside New Zealand.

NZSL videos relating to this page

Large Print and Audio relating to this page

Welfare information about health and wellbeing, financial support, accommodation support, schools and early childhood, animal welfare, information for international visitors.

Last modified: