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.
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.
There are also exceptions for some vessels. These include cargo ships, fishing vessels unloading catch and ships coming from Antarctica.
There are exceptions for people who can travel to New Zealand under a quarantine-free travel arrangement. Currently, people from the Cook Islands can undertake quarantine-free travel to New Zealand.
Pre-departure testing if you're travelling to New Zealand
If you’re travelling to New Zealand from the US or UK, you must have a negative COVID-19 test result before the scheduled departure of your first international flight.
For travellers from other countries (except those from Australia, Antarctica and most Pacific islands), this will come into effect after 11:59pm (NZT) on Monday 25 January.
You will need to have had both your COVID-19 sample taken and your result returned no more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure time of your first international departure.
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, unless you're arriving under quarantine-free travel. You will also be tested for COVID-19 during your stay in a facility.
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.
Request an emergency allocation
Space in managed isolation is extremely limited. An emergency allocation process exists for limited situations that require urgent travel to New Zealand within the next 7 days.
You can request an emergency allocation if:
- you are legally entitled to enter New Zealand under our current border settings
- your travel is time-critical — within the next 7 days
- you have registered in the Managed Isolation Allocation System and you have not been able to book an allocation for the date you require urgent travel
- your circumstances fall within 1 of the 2 categories permitted, and
- you have attached evidence to support your application.
The managed isolation and quarantine website has details about the travel categories permitted for emergency allocation, and what supporting evidence you need.
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.
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.
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:
Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand
From 21 January 2021, you can travel from the Cook Islands to New Zealand without having to go into a managed isolation facility. This is called quarantine-free travel.
Currently, quarantine-free travel is only available one way, from the Cook Islands to New Zealand. The Government is preparing for quarantine-free travel from New Zealand to the Cook Islands, but there is no date for this yet.
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.
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 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