Personal travel across an Alert Level boundary

Personal travel between Alert Level areas is strictly limited to stop the spread of the virus.

Travel is restricted across the Alert Level boundary

Personal travel across an Alert Level boundary is strictly limited to minimise the spread of the virus. You can only travel across an Alert Level boundary for permitted reasons. 

Travel across Alert Level 3 boundaries

There are 3 separate Alert Level boundaries around Northland, Auckland and parts of Waikato. Personal travel across these boundaries is limited to permitted reasons. 

If your reason to travel is permitted you can travel from an Alert Level 2 area into an Alert Level 3 area (and the other direction), or from one Alert Level 3 area to another. If your reason is not permitted, you cannot cross an Alert Level boundary.

To cross an Alert Level boundary for a permitted reason, you are required to carry evidence with you. You may also need evidence of a negative COVID-19 test taken no more than 72 hours before your travel, or evidence of a COVID-19 test taken no more than 7 days before your travel. 

Check the list of permitted travel. It will tell you if and when you need to get tested, and what evidence you need.

Check if your travel is permitted

Travel exemptions are required for funerals and tangihanga

You will need to apply for an exemption to cross an Alert 3 boundary to attend a funeral or tangihanga. That includes crossing from one Alert Level 3 area into another neighbouring Alert Level 3 area. 

Check the Alert Level boundary for defined Alert Level areas

Exemptions are granted only in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis, and only where this is consistent with the public health response to COVID-19.

Apply for an exemption for personal travel if it is not permitted | health.govt.nz (external link)

This may be a challenging time for you and your family. If you ever feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support if you need to talk, you can call or text 1737. It is free, anytime, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, to talk with a trained counsellor.

Getting tested when crossing the boundary

Depending on the reason for your travel, you may need to get a test before crossing the boundary. Most people aged 12 and over need to get a test before crossing the boundary from Auckland, whether by land or air. You do not need to get tested when crossing the boundary one-way into Auckland, or if you travel from an Alert Level 2 area, through an Alert Level 3 area and into another Alert Level 2 area (when this is possible).

There is an exception for people who travel into Auckland for a medical appointment (including vaccinations), and then leave to return home. They do not need a test when leaving Auckland.

The evidence you need to carry depends on the reason for your travel. Some people do not need to be tested. Please note that you cannot get a saliva test for personal travel across the boundary.

Check the list of permitted travel. Depending on your reason for travel, it will tell you if and when you need to get tested and what evidence you need to carry.

Check if your travel is permitted, and whether you need a COVID-19 test

Download summary of testing requirements

Download a table that summarises the testing requirements for personal travel out of the Alert Level 3 area.

Testing requirements when leaving the Alert Level 3 area for permitted personal travel [PDF, 125 KB]

List of permitted travel across Alert Level boundary

Check if your reason for travel is permitted:

Check if your travel is permitted

If your personal travel is permitted

If your personal travel across the boundary is permitted, you are already allowed to cross the boundary. Do not apply for an exemption to travel, because you do not need one.

You just need to make sure you have acceptable evidence to travel. If you are making a return trip, you will also need to carry evidence of where you live.

Whether you are driving or flying across the boundary, you will be asked to show you have evidence to travel. At the airport and the road checkpoint, have your evidence ready as officials may ask to see it at any time.

Find examples of acceptable evidence in the list of permitted travel. You must also have a form of photo ID.

Travel safely

If you are travelling to an area at a lower Alert Level, make sure you follow safety precautions if you stop, such as:

  • wearing a face covering
  • maintaining 2 metres physical distance from others
  • regularly washing or sanitising your hands.

Remember to keep a record of where you have stopped, using the NZ COVID Tracer app or a physical record.

If you have visited a location of interest or have COVID-19 symptoms, you should not travel. Instead, stay home and isolate from others, and call Healthline on 0800 358 5453 for advice about getting a test.

If your personal travel is not permitted

You must check if your personal travel across the boundary is permitted.

If your reason for travelling is not permitted, you need to apply for an exemption. Before applying for an exemption, you must be sure that: 

  • your need to travel across the boundary is urgent and cannot be delayed, and
  • there is no one else (who does not need to cross the boundary) that can attend the event or perform the activity for you.

However, exemptions are granted only in exceptional circumstances on a case-by-case basis, and only where this is consistent with the public health response to COVID-19.

Apply for an individual exemption for personal travel (external link)

Travelling for business or work reasons

If you want to cross the boundary for business or work reasons, you or your employer need to check if your reason for travelling is permitted.

Business travel across an Alert Level boundary

Travel within an Alert Level area

The information on this page is about permitted personal travel across an Alert Level boundary.

Find information about permitted movement within your Alert Level area:

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