COVID-19: Medical transfer (road and air)

Information on international aeromedical transfer of non-COVID-19 patients, and on international or domestic medical transfer of patients with COVID-19 or who meet the clinical and higher index of suspicion criteria for COVID-19.

Last updated: 2 October 2020

International aeromedical transfers of non-COVID patients

New Zealand-based medical attendants

New Zealand-based medical attendants assisting with medical air transfers are exempt from the requirement to undertake 14 days quarantine or isolation on their return to New Zealand under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Air Border) Order 2020. As they are exempt, it is strongly recommended that they meet certain conditions, both in flight and during layovers, and on their return to New Zealand. 

New Zealand-based medical attendants follow the same guidelines as New Zealand-based air crew who undertake a high risk layover. On return to New Zealand, they must self-isolate, have a COVID-19 test on day two after their arrival into New Zealand, and continue to self-isolate until the result of that test has been returned.

Overseas-based medical attendants

Overseas-based medical attendants are required to enter a managed isolation facility for the duration of their layover in New Zealand, unless they remain airside. They are also required to meet the relevant requirements during the transfer of patients to New Zealand.  

Requirements for international aeromedical transfers for involving New Zealand and overseas-based medical attendants (non-COVID-19 patients)

These guidelines outline the requirements for international medical transfers with New Zealand-based and overseas-based medical attendants for non-COVID-19 patients. Implementation of these requirements will ensure that the medical attendants' risk of exposure to COVID-19 is reduced and help keep our borders safe.


International or domestic transfers of patients with confirmed or probable COVID-19 or who meet the clinical and higher index of suspicion (HIS) criteria

Aeromedical transfer of patients

This document outlines infection prevention precautions when managing patients with a confirmed or probable COVID-19 infection or who meet the clinical and HIS criteria requiring transportation by rotary or fixed wing aircraft.

Road ambulance transfer of patients

This document outlines infection prevention precautions when managing patients with confirmed COVID-19 or meeting both the clinical and higher index of suspicion criteria requiring assessment or transportation by road ambulance personnel.

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