Editor’s Note: Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you’re fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on August 1.
If you’re planning to travel to New Zealand, here’s what you’ll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.
New Zealand was a poster child early on for how to deal with Covid-19. Its early lockdown and strict border measures meant it suppressed the virus to an astonishing degree.
Its zero-Covid strategy made it one of the world’s most closed-off nations, but this started to change as the country moved to a new policy focused on vaccination efforts and living with the virus.
On July 31, its air and sea borders opened fully to visitors from anywhere in the world.
What’s on offer
New Zealand’s landscape is the stuff of legend. Arthur’s Pass National Park, with its soaring peaks and deep valleys is ripe for “tramping,” the locals’ term for a good, long hike. Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach offer vast sea views from the tip of North Island. Meanwhile, indigenous Maori culture permeates every aspect of the country. Pick up an RV and it’s easy to find an empty corner of this magical country to explore.
Who can go
Depending on their vaccination and visa status, people can now enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world.
New Zealand’s maritime borders are also now open to vessels including cruise ships and recreational yachts.
The following people can enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world and self-test on arrival:
• New Zealand citizens and residents, regardless of vaccination status
• Vaccinated Australians citizens and permanent residents; unvaccinated Australian citizens who live in New Zealand
• Holders of valid work and student visas; vaccinated travelers with a border exception; vaccinated travelers on a working holiday scheme; vaccinated travelers from visa waiver countries; vaccinated travelers arriving under the Accredited Employer Work Visa category; vaccinated travelers applying for a work visa in New Zealand; vaccinated travelers on tourist, visitor and student visas
Find more details on the government website.
US CDC Travel Advisory:
Level 3: High. Make sure you are up to date with your Covid-19 vaccinations before traveling to New Zealand.
Government site on border closures
Booking site for self-isolation facilities
Our recent coverage
New Zealand scientists recently discovered a “very rare” baby ghost shark on the ocean floor off the east coast of the South Island, just months after the country’s coveted Bird of the Year award went to a bat.
And for fans of New Zealand’s famous grapes, the world’s first “winery airline” is set to launch a route between Auckland and Queenstown later this year.
Joe Minihane, Julia Buckley, Maureen O’Hare, Carly Walsh, Ben Westcott, Hira Humayun, Wayne Chang, Jeevan Ravindran, Sophie Jeong and Julia Hollingsworth contributed to this report