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Covid-19 Travel Restrictions In NZ

As a response to the global Coronavirus pandemic, the New Zealand government has introduced a four-level response plan.  The Government introduced a four-tier response system on 21 March and the country was placed on ‘level 2’ response (which involved limitations on mass gatherings and encouraging increased physical distancing). The country then escalated rapidly to ‘level 4’ (widely described as a ‘lockdown’ involving closing all schools, non-essential workplaces, social gatherings and severe travel restrictions) which came into force on the evening of 25 March 2020. A national emergency was also declared, giving authorities additional powers to enforce control measures.

This planning is based on a mitigation model and focuses on delaying the arrival of the virus, and a range of measures to ‘flatten the curve’ of the pandemic.

Alert Level 4 means the New Zealand border has been closed to almost all travellers from 23:59 New Zealand Time on Thursday 19 March 2020. The travel ban applies to all arrivals into New Zealand whether it is by air or sea. This includes superyachts arriving in New Zealand.

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and residents with valid travel conditions returning to New Zealand may travel to New Zealand and do not need approval from Immigration New Zealand before travelling.

If the New Zealand resident visa was granted outside of New Zealand and the holder is travelling to New Zealand for the first time on that visa, or the resident visa has expired travel conditions, the travel ban applies.

A partner, dependent child or legal guardian travelling on the same flight as the New Zealand citizen or resident should seek approval in advance to check they may travel.

There are a limited number of exceptions for other travellers who should seek approval from INZ before travelling. The starting point for consideration is that the New Zealand border is closed for all but critical travel and that protecting public health in New Zealand is paramount.

We will keep you updated as more information comes to hand.

 

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