COVID-19: Travellers

Information for people travelling, entering or leaving New Zealand.

Last updated: 30 June 2022

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New Zealand’s borders are reopening to all tourists and visa holders from 11:59pm 31 July 2022. This includes the maritime border, which will also be reopening to foreign-flagged vessels, including cruise ships, on July 31. Travel requirements will be announced as they are confirmed.

Travellers from visa-waiver countries and those with valid visitor visas who meet the COVID-19 vaccination requirements, can currently travel to New Zealand. Most travellers are required to complete two Rapid Antigen Tests (RATs) after arriving. 

Travellers flying into New Zealand need to apply for and receive a travel pass through the New Zealand Traveller Declaration website, before boarding their aircraft. Declarations already made through the Nau Mai Rā website are no longer accepted; travellers in this group should reapply for their travel pass through the New Zealander Traveller Declaration site. 

For New Zealanders currently overseas

Most travellers must complete a New Zealand Traveller Declaration and be issued a travel pass before flying to New Zealand.

You need to show your travel pass when you check-in at the airport, and to Customs when you arrive in New Zealand. It can be printed out or saved on your mobile device.

The information you provide will be used to let you know what you need to do when you arrive in New Zealand: such as self-test on arrival or enter quarantine-free.

Travel passes already issued through the Nau Mai Rā website are no longer accepted. The holders of passes issued through Nau Mai Rā should apply for a new travel pass through the New Zealand Traveller Declaration site.  

Please consider the following in the 14 days before departure:

  • Avoid going to high-risk events such as parties, social gatherings or crowded places
  • Avoid contact with COVID-19 cases or contacts of cases
  • Stay home as much as possible to limit exposure to other people.

Doing these things will help reduce the risk of being exposed to COVID-19.

Check the SafeTravel website for the latest advice from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.


Pre-departure COVID-19 tests no longer required

Please note that all travellers whose first international flight to New Zealand departed after 11:59pm (NZ time) on Monday 20 June 2022 no longer have to do a pre-departure COVID-19 test.


Advice for travellers with the symptoms of COVID-19

A traveller cannot board a flight to New Zealand if they are presenting with COVID-19-type symptoms. However, the symptoms of COVID-19 can be similar to the symptoms of other common pre-existing conditions, such as hayfever. If a traveller is asked by airline check-in staff about their symptoms, they will need to provide either:

  • a medical certificate from a qualified person (health practitioner, an overseas qualified medical practitioner, a health protection officer, or a medical officer of health) who has examined the passenger 48 hours prior to their flight and confirmed the symptoms are likely to be caused by something other than COVID-19; or
  • proof of a negative result from a supervised COVID-19 test. Approved COVID-19 tests are: a PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before their first international flight to NZ; or a supervised rapid antigen test (RAT) or loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test taken a maximum of 24 hours before their first international flight to NZ. If the supervised test is positive, the traveller has the option of asking a qualified person to certify that the traveller is unlikely to still be infectious.

Entering New Zealand under the Quarantine-Free category

New Zealand law allows travellers flying to New Zealand from four Pacific countries to enter under the ‘Quarantine-Free Travel (QFT)’ category, if they meet normal immigration requirements, and if those travellers fly directly to New Zealand (i.e. without stopping or transiting anywhere else on the way).

These countries are:  

  • Niue* 
  • Nauru 
  • Tokelau 
  • Tuvalu 

*Currently, direct scheduled flights are only available from Niue, meaning travellers from Nauru, Tokelau and Tuvalu are not usually able to enter New Zealand under the QFT category, unless they are travelling on a direct charter flight. 

QFT travellers are not required to carry out Day 0/1 or Day 5/6 Rapid Antigen tests, and are not required to complete pre-departure testing.

Non-New Zealand citizens (excluding holders of NZ residence class visas, those with NZ resident visas that have expired no more than 6 months before their flight and Australian citizens who are ordinarily resident in NZ) must be vaccinated to arrive under the QFT category.

To enter New Zealand under the QFT category, the travellers must come directly from their QFT country. If the traveller transits through a country that is not on the list above (whether they disembark from the aircraft or not), the traveller no longer meets the requirements to travel under the QFT category. For example, if someone travels from Tokelau by sea to Samoa, and then flies from Samoa to New Zealand, that person is not eligible to enter New Zealand on the QFT pathway.  

Non-QFT travellers from Niue, Nauru, Tokelau, and Tuvalu can still enter New Zealand but must self-test for COVID-19 after arriving (on Day 0/1 and Day 5/6 after arriving in New Zealand). This now includes travellers from countries from which it was previously possible to travel under the QFT category ― including Samoa, American Samoa, Vanuatu and the Cook Islands. 

For more information, visit the Unite Against COVID-19 website.


If you are unvaccinated or do not meet vaccination requirements

All travellers to New Zealand are recommended to be up to date with their COVID-19 vaccinations, before coming to New Zealand. Vaccination is the best way to protect you from becoming severely unwell if you get COVID-19.

You do not need to have proof of vaccination if you are:

  • a New Zealand citizen
  • a New Zealand Resident Class Visa Holder
  • a holder of a New Zealand Resident class visa which expired no more than 6 months before your flight to New Zealand 
  • an Australian Citizen ordinarily resident in New Zealand
  • aged 16 years or under
  • a person who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons — you will need electronic or paper evidence from a health practitioner
  • a refugee arriving in New Zealand for the first time
  • a citizen of Afghanistan and you are being evacuated
  • arriving from Antarctica
  • travelling to New Zealand, and this is your first trip as a holder of a visa granted under the 2022 Special Ukraine Visa Policy; or if you are or were ordinarily resident in Ukraine at any point on or after 1 January 2022.

*As of 11:59pm 20 June, transit passengers (who will not pass through NZ Customs) are no required to meet vaccination requirements.

Vaccination requirements to enter New Zealand.

Vaccination exemptions

Some travellers may be able to get an exemption if they are travelling to New Zealand from a country with no, or limited access to COVID-19 vaccines.

You will need to apply to the Ministry of Health for an exemption, along with evidence of why you need one. The Director-General of Health will decide if you can get an exemption.

You can check to see if you qualify and apply for exemptions here: COVID-19: Vaccination exemptions for non-New Zealand citizens travelling to New Zealand.


Testing on arrival  

The testing on arrival pathway enables all eligible people to enter New Zealand and complete a Day 0/1 and Day 5/6 Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) and report the results using the link in the email that will be sent to you by the New Zealand Ministry of Health. If it is not possible for you to access email, call and leave a message with your result at (0800 432 010). If you test positive you must take a PCR test at a community testing centre or medical centre (this allows the Ministry of Health to monitor for any new variants of concern.)

All travellers (except for those entering quarantine-free and those under six months old) will have to complete a Day 0/1 and Day 5/6 Rapid Antigen Test after arriving in New Zealand.

You must also have completed a New Zealand Travel Declaration.

More details can be found on Unite Against COVID-19.


Travellers transiting through New Zealand

Travellers transiting New Zealand will not need to meet any vaccination requirements, if your first international flight departed after 11:59pm (NZ time) Monday 20 June 2022. After that date, if you are transiting through New Zealand you are also no longer required to complete a New Zealand Traveller Declaration.

If you wish to enter New Zealand (by going through Customs) you will no longer be considered a transit arrival and will need to meet all entry requirements.  


For travellers leaving New Zealand

Travellers should visit the New Zealand Government’s SafeTravel website for general travel advice, as well as advice on travelling overseas during the COVID-19 pandemic.

If you do travel, some countries require travellers to confirm a negative COVID-19 test before they leave New Zealand. It is recommended that you check the requirements of the country you are travelling to before your departure.

If you do need a COVID-19 test before departure, you can organise it through your primary care provider (general practice, GP, pharmacy, or other providers of pre-departure tests for travel read more at: Pre-departure tests to enter New Zealand (covid19.govt.nz). They will tell you how much it costs and how to pay. Book a test once your travel plans are confirmed. The test needs to be taken as close as possible to when you will be travelling – check with your High Commission, Embassy or Consulate for the timing that applies for where you are travelling. 

If you need to have a PCR test, it may take more than 24 hours for test results to be available, so people need to ensure they don’t leave it too late, especially around the weekend. If your travel plans change to a later day than expected, a re-test and negative result may be required.

If the PCR test is positive, your GP will talk with you about what happens next.

If you need evidence of a negative RAT or LAMP test, this may need to be supervised by a health professional to confirm the test is negative.

Entry requirements may differ between countries, but you will probably need a hard-copy of your negative COVID-19 test result to present to check-in before boarding the plane. Your general practice or GP will be able to give this to you. You will also probably need to show the result to Customs/Immigration on arrival at your destination.

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