COVID-19 restrictions in New Zealand are subject to change at short notice and can apply regionally or nationally. You can find detailed information on current COVID-19 levels and the restriction measures that are being enforced on the New Zealand Government website.
At 11:59pm (NZT) on 2 December 2021 New Zealand moved into the new COVID-19 Protection Framework, a traffic light system of Green, Orange, and Red. More information is available on the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website. At all levels, record keeping and scanning is mandatory, and evidence of vaccination is incentivised for business and public venues and events. Localised lockdowns may still be used as part of New Zealand’s public health response, so you should plan for disruption.
Coronavirus travel health
Check the latest information on risk from COVID-19 for New Zealand on the TravelHealthPro website
See the TravelHealthPro website for further advice on travel abroad and reducing spread of respiratory viruses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Check the current New Zealand COVID-19 restrictions and requirements.
Entry and borders
New Zealand’s border restrictions remain in place and entry to New Zealand is strictly controlled to prevent the spread of COVID-19. If you are granted a visa to travel by the Government of New Zealand, you will also need to meet the vaccination requirements for non-New Zealand citizens.
The planned phased border re-opening has been postponed until the end of February 2022.
Public health measures remain in place under the COVID-19 Protection Framework (wash hands and high-touch surfaces regularly, physical distancing, stay home if sick, and get tested if symptomatic).
See Entry requirements to find out what you will need to do when you arrive in New Zealand.
Returning to the UK
Travelling from and returning to the UK
Check what you must do to travel abroad and return to England, Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
If you plan to pass through another country to return to the UK, check the travel advice for the country you’re transiting. If you will pass through a red list country, book your hotel quarantine package before travelling to the UK.
You are responsible for organising your own COVID-19 test, in line with UK government testing requirements. You should contact a GP or visit the Healthpoint website for further information on accessing pre-departure COVID-19 tests in New Zealand. More details can be found on the New Zealand government website.
Private testing facilities are also available.
The British High Commission in Wellington and Consulate General in Auckland are unable to offer certification or a negative test result.
Check if you need to take a pre-departure test when travelling to the UK and/or on arrival.
On 17 November 2021, the New Zealand Government launched its International Travel Vaccination Certificate, for people aged 12 years and over who have had a vaccine dose administered in New Zealand. If you have been vaccinated in New Zealand, you may request a digital vaccination certificate from the New Zealand Ministry of Health, which will be accepted at the UK border. If you previously received a vaccination confirmation letter from the New Zealand Ministry of Health this will be accepted during this transitional period. Please see the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website for further information.
Please see GOV.UK coronavirus (COVID-19) guidance if travelling to Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.
Please be mindful of the requirements of any airline or transit points, who may still require pre-departure tests regardless of your final destination.
Other specific country and airline restrictions
Travel restrictions may be imposed by other transit hubs. We advise you to check with your airline before travelling in case of any related disruption to airline schedules caused by the new restrictions.
Some airlines have mandatory pre-departure PCR COVID-19 testing requirements, even for transit passengers. You should contact your individual airline for further information. The British High Commission in Wellington and Consulate General in Auckland are unable to offer certification or a negative test result. Those requiring testing should contact their GP or visit the Healthpoint website for further information on accessing medical services.
Face-coverings are required by legislation on all New Zealand domestic flights and Air New Zealand requires all passengers to wear a face-covering on international flights.
From 1 February 2022, Air New Zealand will require customers aged 18 or older travelling anywhere on its international network to be fully vaccinated.
Air New Zealand also requires all travellers aged 12 years and 3 months or older on domestic flights between 14 December 2021 and 31 March 2022 to provide proof of full vaccination or a negative pre-departure test.
The InterIslander Cook Strait ferry services between the North and South Islands of New Zealand also require proof of full vaccination or a negative pre-departure test.
If you’re unable to leave New Zealand and your visa is nearing expiry, you should contact the New Zealand authorities as soon as possible. See New Zealand government and New Zealand Immigration websites for the latest information.
The New Zealand Government have made an additional extension to some visas.
You can confirm your visa expiry date by checking the Visa Verification Service on the Immigration New Zealand website. Please do not call the Immigration Contact Centre as they will not be able to confirm your visa status until the records have been fully updated.
You should consult the Immigration New Zealand COVID-19 website for up-to-date information.
Be prepared for your plans to change
No travel is risk-free during COVID. Countries may further restrict travel or bring in new rules at short notice, for example due to a new COVID-19 variant. Check with your travel company or airline for any transport changes which may delay your journey home.
If you test positive for COVID-19, you may need to stay where you are until you test negative. You may also need to seek treatment there.
Plan ahead and make sure you:
- can access money
- understand what your insurance will cover
- can make arrangements to extend your stay and be away for longer than planned
Travel in New Zealand
Wearing a face mask on all public transport and domestic flights in New Zealand is legally required. For domestic flights within New Zealand from , you must either be fully vaccinated, or have a negative COVID-19 test result from a test administered no more than 72 hours before your flight.
Physical distancing is recommended in public places. The Government also requires people to keep track of their movements and who they have seen to help with contact tracing. The NZ COVID-19 Tracer app is available to download for this purpose with all shops and businesses displaying their QR codes for scanning. Detailed information on face coverings is available from the New Zealand government.
Range of measures that can be applied locally or nationally
COVID-19 public health measures and restrictions may be applied at a town, city, territorial local authority, regional or national level.
You can monitor levels, and whether New Zealand or the area you are visiting within New Zealand is at Green, Orange, or Red on the COVID-19 Protection Framework, by reviewing the New Zealand Government COVID-19 website for the latest information where you are. You can also check restrictions and health updates on the New Zealand Ministry of Health website.
You may require evidence of vaccination for entry into business and premises in New Zealand. If you are over 12 years old and have had one or more doses of vaccine in New Zealand you can apply for the domestic ‘My Vaccine Pass’. You may apply to have some COVID-19 vaccinations administered overseas entered into My Vaccine Pass, further information is available on the New Zealand Ministry of Health website.
Under the COVID-19 Protection Framework, the fully vaccinated can expect greater freedoms in New Zealand, but public health measures may still include:
- Mandatory record keeping
- Restrictions on the numbers of people at non-work gatherings, in shops, cafes, restaurants and other places of public gathering, and on visitors to private residences, both indoors and outdoors. (Numbers and settings may depend on the use of vaccination certificates.)
- Physical distancing of 2 metres from people you do not know when out in public or in retail stores and 1 metre physical distancing in controlled environments like workplaces, where practicable
- Restrictions on domestic transport, inter regional travel and use of public transport
- Restrictions on schools, business, and recreational activities
- Face masks on public transport and in high risk, crowded areas
Healthcare in New Zealand
If you’re concerned that you may have coronavirus (COVID-19) symptoms, you can get health advice and information by calling Healthline (free) on 0800 358 5453. Coronavirus (COVID-19) tests and treatment are provided free of charge.
Eligibility for healthcare in New Zealand under the reciprocal health agreement applies to British nationals who have had to extend their temporary stay in New Zealand due to COVID-19. View ‘Local medical care’ for further detail on the conditions.
View Health for further details on healthcare in New Zealand.
Your emotional and mental wellbeing is important. Read guidance on how to look after your mental wellbeing and mental health
COVID-19 vaccines if you live in New Zealand
Wherever possible British nationals should aim to be vaccinated in the country where they live.
The New Zealand national vaccination programme started in February 2021 and is using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine. British nationals resident in New Zealand are eligible for vaccination, regardless of their visa or citizenship status. This includes any temporary visa holders who are in New Zealand, and any information collected will not be used for immigration purposes. COVID-19 vaccination is free in New Zealand.
Further information about the national vaccination programme is available on the New Zealand Ministry of Health website.
Find out more, including about vaccines that are authorised in the UK or approved by the World Health Organisation, on the COVID-19 vaccines if you live abroad.
You should be aware that currently some vaccinations administered overseas, including in New Zealand, are not able to be entered into your NHS COVID Pass record.
If you’re a British national living in New Zealand, you should seek medical advice from your local healthcare provider. Information about COVID-19 vaccines used in the national programme where you live, including regulatory status, should be available from local authorities.