New Zealand border reopening announced – When can tourists return to Aotearoa?

New Zealand is “ready to welcome the world back”, according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

After more than two years of our borders being closed to tourists, in what were some of the strictest conditions in the world, New Zealand is preparing to once again welcome travellers without any need to self-isolate…

And it’s happening sooner than expected.

New Zealand’s Borders are Reopening to Tourists – But When?

Today it was announced that international travellers will be allowed back into New Zealand earlier than anticipated, and that there will be no need for vaccinated travellers to self-isolate or join a managed isolation facility.

Travellers entering New Zealand from abroad will need to be fully vaccinated (at the time of writing, the only exemption for this is for New Zealanders returning home from living abroad) and will be required to return a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT).

Upon landing, all travellers will receive a welcome pack, including RATs which allow for on-the-go COVID testing.

They will then be free to explore New Zealand without restriction.

Women natives showing leaves to happy tourists.

Who Is Allowed Back into New Zealand and When?

New Zealand Citizens, Residents and Critical Workers

New Zealand residents, citizens and eligible critical workers are currently allowed to enter New Zealand without any need to self-isolate.

Vaccinated Australians (and Permanent Residents of Australia)

Vaccinated Australians and Australian residents will be able to visit New Zealand (for any reason) from 11.59pm on Tuesday 12th April 2022. Self isolation will not be required, leaving these travellers free to explore Aotearoa from the moment their feet touch the ground.

Vaccinated Travellers from Visa Waiver Countries

Travellers from 60 visa waiver countries and terriroties (who are fully vaccinated), will be able to enter New Zealand from 11.59pm on Sunday 1st May 2022.

Vaccinated Travellers Outside of Visa Waiver Countries

Travellers wishing to visit New Zealand from outside of visa waiver countries (those that require a visa), are also able to enter New Zealand from 11.59pm on Sunday 1st May 2022 if they already have a valid visa issued.

For those without current visas, the government have suggested you will be able to travel to New Zealand in October 2022.

We will update this information as more details come to hand.

We also have our must-read posts for first-time visitors to Aotearoa NZ that will immensely guide you on your journey.

A woman standing on the hot springs of Maruia while looking at the forest.

What Vaccinations Do I Need for COVID-19?

People Who Don’t Require a COVID-19 Vaccination to Travel to New Zealand

You don’t require proof of vaccination if you:

  • are a New Zealand citizen. However, New Zealanders who do not have proof of vaccination must enter managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ).
  • are a child aged 16 years and under,
  • cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons — you will need electronic or paper evidence from a medical practitioner,
  • are a refugee,
  • are a citizen of Afghanistan and you are being evacuated.

If you fit into any of these categories, you do not need to apply for an exemption in New Zealand.

People Who Do Need a COVID-19 Vaccination to Enter New Zealand

The following people need to provide proof of vaccination to enter Aotearoa New Zealand:

  • non-New Zealand citizens,
  • non-New Zealand citizens who are transiting New Zealand,
  • foreign air crew arriving in New Zealand.
I Need a Vaccination – What, When, How?

Information regarding the number of vaccinations, the type of vaccine and proof of these is available online.

Please ensure you’ve read over the details to ensure you are prepared for your upcoming travels.

Having spent so long largely isolated from the rest of the world, we cannot wait to welcome travellers back to Aotearoa New Zealand!

Isn’t it time you paid us a visit?

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