Unlocking the World

Travel to New Zealand during Covid-19: What you need to know before you go

CNN StaffUpdated 29th July 2021
Editor's Note — Coronavirus cases are in flux across the globe. Health officials caution that staying home is the best way to stem transmission until you're fully vaccinated. Below is information on what to know if you still plan to travel, last updated on July 29.
(CNN) — If you're planning to travel to New Zealand, here's what you'll need to know and expect if you want to visit during the Covid-19 pandemic.

The basics

New Zealand has become the poster child for how to deal with Covid-19. Its early lockdown and strict border measures mean it has suppressed the virus to an astonishing degree.
That success also means that it will likely be quite a while before most international travelers are allowed to visit.

What's on offer

New Zealand's landscape is the stuff of legend. Arthur's Pass National Park, with its soaring peaks and deep valleys is ripe for "tramping," the locals' term for a good, long hike. Cape Reinga and Ninety Mile Beach offer vast sea views from the tip of North Island. Meanwhile, indigenous Maori culture permeates every aspect of the country. Pick up an RV and it's easy to find an empty corner of this magical country to explore.

Who can go

The rules are simple. Other than a few exceptions for partners, dependents and critical workers, only New Zealand residents and citizens are allowed into the country without first requesting to travel.
Any other travel into the country must be for a critical purpose and admission must be obtained first. You can find out more about border entry requirements here.
New Zealand has temporarily suspended entry for all travelers from India, including New Zealand citizens.
On July 22, it was announced that the country's two-way travel bubble with Australia would also be suspended for eight weeks.
There remains a two-way travel bubble with the Cook Islands and a one-way travel bubble from the Pacific Island of Niue.

Entry requirements

All arrivals, including New Zealand citizens, must undertake 14 days of mandatory quarantine and test negative for Covid-19 at the end of this period before entering the community.
All arrivals must book their place in a managed isolation and quarantine facility prior to travel, and a voucher confirming that a space has been booked must be presented before boarding. Availability is currently extremely limited.
Travelers coming from the United Kingdom or United States must also have a negative Covid-19 test result before boarding their flight.

US CDC Travel Advisory:

Level 1: Low. You should be fully vaccinated before traveling.

Useful links

Our recent coverage

When English artist Tom Napper got stranded in New Zealand during lockdown, he used the time to make a series of artworks illustrating the places he visited on his bike tour around the country.
Earlier this year, CNN Travel took a deep dive into cheese rolls: a humble snack that has become a signature New Zealand food.