New Zealand Travel Regulations and Latest News

Are you planning a trip to New Zealand? Stay up-to-date with the latest travel regulations and news to ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey. In this article, we will provide you with essential information regarding entry requirements, quarantine-free travel, transit options, and internal restrictions. Let’s dive in!

Entry to New Zealand

Currently, the New Zealand border is closed to almost all arrivals. However, there are some exceptions. From 11:59pm on April 28, 2021, travelers from very high-risk countries are temporarily restricted to New Zealand citizens, their partners, dependent children, parents of dependent children who are New Zealand citizens, and those with significant humanitarian reasons. All non-New Zealand residents must have a valid visa to enter New Zealand. Other travelers, including New Zealand residents, can enter if they spend 14 days outside a very high-risk country before their arrival. Transit through a very high-risk country is excluded from the 14-day requirement.

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New Zealand

Quarantine-Free Travel

Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand is currently available on commercial flights, but only with Australia and the Cook Islands. Please note that quarantine-free travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands does not include those traveling from Australia to New Zealand. When entering New Zealand from a quarantine-free travel zone, normal visa conditions apply. Temporary visa holders in New Zealand must meet the country’s immigration requirements in order to return. This means having a ‘multiple entry’ visa that permits leaving and returning to New Zealand, provided all entry requirements are met. Border rules and eligibility criteria can change rapidly, so it’s important to prepare for possible disruptions to your plans. Stay updated by checking the COVID-19 government website for the latest information on changes to quarantine-free travel.

Travel Between New Zealand and Australia

Since April 19, 2021, travelers who have been in Australia for 14 days can travel by air to New Zealand without entering a managed isolation facility. Check the New Zealand government’s COVID-19 website for detailed information. To enter New Zealand from a safe zone in Australia, travelers must hold a visa or NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority), and normal immigration rules apply. Visit the New Zealand Immigration website for criteria and further information.

Travel Between New Zealand and the Cook Islands

From May 17, 2021, you can travel between New Zealand and the Cook Islands without entering managed isolation or self-isolation upon arrival at your destination. Before your departure, you must spend 14 full days in either New Zealand or the Cook Islands. Make sure to check the New Zealand government’s COVID-19 website for specific details. Remember to hold a visa or NZeTA when traveling from the Cook Islands to New Zealand. All travelers to New Zealand (except those coming from Australia, Antarctica, and most Pacific Islands) will be required to have confirmation of a negative COVID-19 PCR test result within 72 hours before departure. For more information, visit the New Zealand government’s COVID-19 website.

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New Zealand Landscape

Quarantine Requirements

Anyone entering New Zealand (excluding those from within a quarantine-free travel bubble, currently arranged with Australia and the Cook Islands) must undergo quarantine or managed isolation in an approved facility for at least 14 days. Afterward, they must test negative for COVID-19 before entering the community. Since April 19, 2021, travelers who have been in Australia for 14 days can fly to New Zealand without entering a managed isolation facility. Refer to the New Zealand government’s COVID-19 website for specific details. All travelers (except those from within a quarantine-free travel bubble) will be required to undergo a COVID-19 test on ‘day zero’ within 24 hours of arrival at a managed isolation and quarantine facility. Travelers must remain in their managed isolation or quarantine facility room until the test results are known. Additional testing will be conducted on Day 3 and Day 12, as required for all arrivals, following New Zealand’s policy on isolation and quarantine. To secure a place in a managed isolation facility, travelers must register on the Managed Isolation Allocation System before booking flights. Please note that provision of a voucher for managed isolation does not guarantee entry into New Zealand. Check if you qualify to enter the country under New Zealand’s border restrictions before making any travel arrangements. For more information and to apply for an exemption from managed isolation, visit the New Zealand Ministry of Health website.

Transit Through New Zealand

If you plan to transit through New Zealand, specific requirements apply depending on your nationality and destination. Starting from June 20, 2020, transit visa waiver and visa waiver nationalities, people transiting to or from Australia, and people departing a Pacific country or territory to return home do not need a transit visa as long as they have a confirmed flight out of New Zealand within 24 hours to a port that will accept them. In most cases, transit passengers must hold an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) or transit ETA before travel. Apply for these online. However, if you are not from a visa-waiver or transit visa-waiver country or territory, or if you do not meet the aforementioned conditions, you will need to apply for a transit visa. Due to the COVID-19 situation, Immigration New Zealand currently does not accept paper applications for transit visas. Instead, a temporary process is in place for submitting applications by email. Visit the Immigration New Zealand website for detailed instructions on applying for a transit visa via email. If you are staying airside while transiting through New Zealand, you do not need to provide a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test (although you may need to be tested as per the requirements of your destination country).

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Coronavirus and Internal Restrictions

As of 6 am local time on Sunday, February 28, 2021, the Auckland region has been placed under COVID-19 Alert Level 3 restrictions, while the rest of New Zealand is under COVID-19 Alert Level 2 restrictions. These measures are in response to a local outbreak of COVID-19 in South Auckland. Delays and cancellations in transportation are possible, so make sure to check with your travel provider for any updates. Visit the New Zealand Government website for detailed information on current alert levels and the measures implemented.

Face Mask

Regarding travel within New Zealand, wearing a face mask on all public transport and domestic flights is legally required at COVID Levels 1 and 2. Physical distancing is recommended in public places. The government also encourages individuals to keep track of their activities and interactions through the NZ COVID Tracer app. This app allows you to scan QR codes provided by shops and businesses for contact tracing purposes. For more information on face coverings, visit the New Zealand government website.


Q: Can I travel to New Zealand during the border closure?

A: Under certain circumstances, you may be considered to have a critical purpose to travel to New Zealand. Please visit the INZ website for criteria and information on how to submit a request for travel to New Zealand.

Q: How can I secure a place in a managed isolation facility?

A: Before booking your flights, you must register for a voucher for managed isolation. This voucher will allocate you a spot in a managed isolation facility. For more information, see ‘Secure your place in managed isolation’ on the New Zealand government website.

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Q: Are there any exemptions from managed isolation?

A: There are limited exceptional circumstances in which individuals can apply for an exemption from managed isolation. Visit the New Zealand Ministry of Health website for more information on these exceptional circumstances.


Planning a trip to New Zealand requires careful consideration of the latest travel regulations and updates. Make sure to stay informed about entry requirements, quarantine-free travel options, transit rules, and internal restrictions. By following the guidelines and staying updated with official sources, you can have a safe and enjoyable journey to this beautiful country. For more information and the latest updates on New Zealand travel, visit iBlog.

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