Travel to New Zealand

How to plan your travel to New Zealand and what will happen when you arrive.

Who can travel to New Zealand

The New Zealand borders are closed to almost all travellers. Closed borders helps stop COVID-19 from spreading through our communities. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether by air or sea.

New Zealand citizens and residents

You have a legal right to come to New Zealand if you’re:

  • a New Zealand citizen 
  • a New Zealand resident with valid travel conditions. 

Limited exceptions

There are a small number of limited exceptions to the ban on travelling to and entering New Zealand.

These exceptions apply to people who: 

  • already hold a temporary New Zealand visa 
  • don’t have a New Zealand visa. 

If you’re not a New Zealand citizen or resident you legally must get approval from Immigration New Zealand before travelling to New Zealand.

COVID-19 key updates from Immigration NZ (external link)

There are also exceptions for some vessels. These include cargo ships, fishing vessels unloading catch and ships coming from Antarctica.

Guidance for the maritime sector from the Ministry of Health (external link)

Border controls on arrival

It's important people returning to New Zealand do their part to stop COVID-19 spreading in New Zealand.

Managed isolation or quarantine

If you're returning to New Zealand, you legally must complete at least 14 days of managed isolation or quarantine. You will also be tested for COVID-19 during your stay.

Managed isolation and quarantine

Secure your place in managed isolation

You are legally required to have a voucher before flying to New Zealand. Your voucher allocates you a place in a managed isolation facility. 

Airlines will not be permitted to board you if you do not have a voucher, unless you are exempt from using the Managed Isolation Allocation System. 

Register for a voucher for managed isolation (external link)

Limited places in managed isolation

Spaces in managed isolation are extremely limited pre-Christmas, but may become available as travel plans change. We recommend you regularly check the Managed Isolation Allocation System website for your preferred date.

Managed Isolation Allocation System (external link)

Request an emergency allocation

Space in managed isolation is extremely limited. This means the criteria for requesting an emergency allocation have been restricted.

You can only request an emergency allocation if you meet both the following criteria:

  • You are a New Zealand citizen or resident-class visa holder.
  • You have an imminent threat to your life or serious risk to health, which requires urgent travel to New Zealand.

Very few emergency allocation requests will be granted. We encourage you to book in early to the Managed Isolation Allocation System, as this is the best way to guarantee your place.

Emergency allocation requests (external link)

How to travel back to New Zealand

Many countries around the world have closed their borders and imposed stricter travel restrictions.

Check your options

Travel by air to New Zealand

Commercial flight options are available to return to New Zealand but are limited.

We recommend you contact your airline and other travel providers for the most up-to-date information about flight availability. Contact your travel agent or airline if you are travelling from or transiting through areas affected by border measures.

Travel by sea to New Zealand

Cruise ships continue to be banned from entering New Zealand.

Vessels can enter New Zealand if all aboard are New Zealand citizens or permanent residents. There are exceptions for some vessels. This includes cargo ships, fishing vessels unloading catch and ships coming from Antarctica.

Guidance for the maritime sector from the Ministry of Health (external link)

Visa information for critical workers in the maritime sector (external link)

In an emergency

If you are a New Zealand citizen abroad you can get emergency consular assistance. You can access support for situations like lost or stolen passports, death, health issues and law infringements.

New Zealand cannot influence or guarantee another country or airline’s entry, exit or transit requirements. We also cannot help you book a commercial flight.

Get emergency consular help by calling:

More help from SafeTravel (external link)

What to bring with you to New Zealand

You will not be able to go to the shops when you first arrive in New Zealand, or while you are in managed isolation or quarantine.

What to bring with you to New Zealand (external link)

Keep yourself and those around you safe while travelling

Keep yourself, your whānau and those around you safe while travelling to New Zealand.

In the 14 days before you leave

  • Avoid going to high-risk events like parties, social gatherings or crowded places.
  • Avoid contact with people who have COVID-19 or who are contacts of people with COVID-19.
  • Stay home as much as possible to limit your contact with other people.
  • Wash and dry your hands often, cough into your elbow and avoid touching your face.
  • Keep your distance from people you do not know.
  • Wear a face covering when you cannot keep your distance.

Doing these things will help reduce your risk of being exposed to COVID-19 and bringing it home with you.

Arriving in New Zealand

What happens when you arrive back in New Zealand depends on whether you arrive by air or sea.

Arriving in New Zealand and being transferred to an isolation or quarantine facility (external link)

Entering managed isolation and what to expect (external link)

Arriving by air

When you arrive by air, you will be screened for cold, flu or COVID-19 symptoms at the airport.

If you have symptoms or are waiting for the results of a test, you will go to a quarantine facility. Otherwise, you will go to an isolation facility.

Both types of facilities are in hotels.

Arriving by sea

When you arrive by sea, you may complete your isolation on your vessel.

Transiting through New Zealand

International transit travel through New Zealand

Last updated: