COVID-19: Border controls

Border control measures for COVID-19 when entering New Zealand. This includes information on managed isolation and quarantine.

Last updated: 6 April 2021

On this page:

See also: Resources for the Border sector


Who can enter New Zealand

Only New Zealand residents and citizens (and their children and partners) can enter New Zealand. This includes:

  • New Zealand citizens (including those from the three Countries of the Realm: Tokelau, Niue and the Cook Islands), permanent residents and their immediate family
  • Australian citizens and permanent residents whose primary place of established residence is New Zealand
  • travellers from a quarantine-free travel zone (see Advice for travellers)
  • certain arrivals specifically exempted under the orders, for example, some aircrew.

Who can't enter New Zealand

If you're from another country you can't enter New Zealand. In some cases you can apply for an exemption, eg. as an essential worker or for medical reasons.

Apply to Immigration for an exemption to the border closure


Managed isolation and quarantine

Managed isolation and quarantine is a key measure to prevent the transmission of COVID-19 into our communities.

Almost every person who arrives in New Zealand other than from a quarantine-free travel zone (unless directed) must stay in managed isolation for at least 14 days (336 hours). They’ll need to do a health assessment and test negative for COVID-19 before they can enter the community.

In some circumstances a COVID-19 test may not be considered appropriate and a health assessment will be completed instead.

Find out more: Managed Isolation and Quarantine website

Securing a place in managed isolation

If you're returning to New Zealand, the first step is to register on the Managed Isolation Allocation System. You should do this before you book your flight.

Secure your place in managed isolation

Entering and leaving a facility

As people arrive into New Zealand, they'll go to either a:

  • managed isolation facility (if they have no symptoms)
  • quarantine facility (if they have symptoms).

Before leaving the facility, we'll do a final health check for every person. This is to confirm they have:

  • not tested positive for COVID-19 or are not a probable case
  • no COVID-19 symptoms
  • a temperature below 38 degrees celsius.

Managing your data privacy in managed isolation and quarantine

Read the Privacy statement for National Border Solution (the NBS) and Border Clinical Management system (the BCMS) (pdf, 95 KB)


Exemptions from managed isolation

In exceptional circumstances, you may be eligible for an exemption from managed isolation. For most cases, if you're granted an exemption, you must still:

  • complete 7 days in managed isolation
  • have a negative COVID-19 test on or around day 3
  • have a full health assessment before you can leave.

This is because of the increased public health risks in the early stages of isolation.

Find out more: Exemptions from managed isolation

If you're showing COVID-19 symptoms

If you become symptomatic during managed isolation you'll move to a quarantine facility. No exemption will be possible. Any close contacts may have to move with you.

International medical evacuations (Medevac)

If you're evacuated from overseas to New Zealand you'll go straight to the hospital on arrival.

You'll need a medical evacuation exemption from managed isolation. The relevant DHB or medical facility can apply on your behalf using their process. This includes verifying that they will enable your self-isolation in hospital.

If you're discharged within 14 days, you'll need to complete the remaining time in a managed isolation facility.

To apply, the relevant DHB or medical facility will send the forms and documentation to:

Email [email protected]

If you can't stay at a facility for medical reasons

If you believe a managed isolation facility can't meet your medical or physical needs, you can apply for a medical exemption.

The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) manages these exemptions.

Apply for an exemption for medical reasons

Air and maritime crew

People working at the border are exempt from managed isolation in some cases. For more information visit:

Aviation sector
Maritime sector

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