The government of New Zealand has taken far-reaching steps against further spreading of coronavirus, including with regards to the NZeTA visa for New Zealand. Are you planning to travel to New Zealand? Keep a close eye on the information about coronavirus and the NZeTA visa of New Zealand on this page. Last update: 30-03-2020.
Is there coronavirus in New Zealand?
Yes. On 30 March 2020, there were some 600 coronavirus infections confirmed in New Zealand and one person had died. The measures implemented by the government of New Zealand are strict to curb further spreading of the virus as much as possible.
Coronavirus (Covid-19) has also led to far-reaching measures being taken in New Zealand
Can I apply for a visa for New Zealand?
Yes. Despite the current measures in place regarding coronavirus it is still possible to apply for an NZeTA visa. However, this is only useful for trips later this year, as there is currently a travel ban in place. This ban applies to all tourist and business travellers, but not to inhabitants of New Zealand. It is currently not known how long the travel ban will last, but it is expected that this will be at least four weeks. Visa applications for New Zealand are currently processed for a slightly longer time, but as it is not possible to travel to New Zealand on short term, this won’t cause much trouble.
I already have an NZeTA visa, is it still valid?
Coronavirus has spoiled the plans of travellers that are planning to fly intercontinentally. This isn’t any different with New Zealand. One of the coronavirus measures is a complete travel ban. This ban means that no tourists or business travellers can travel to New Zealand. This includes travellers with a valid visa. The NZeTA variant of the visa is the most applied for visa type for tourists and has a validity term of two years. Coronavirus has resulted in the visa no longer being useable at this time. Strictly speaking the validity has not expired however, and the visa can be used as normal as soon as the danger of coronavirus has passed. If you possess a valid NZeTA and plan to travel in a year’s time, you like won’t need to apply for a new one.
When will the coronavirus limitations be lifted?
The majority of the measures implemented by the government of New Zealand regarding coronavirus have been in effect since 20 March 2020. However, there is no certainty regarding the length of these measures. They might be lifted on 22 April, but keep in mind that there is a very realistic chance that these measures will be in effect for several more months. Do you want to book a trip to New Zealand? Keep a close watch on the news and this page, so that you remain up to date on developments.
I’m still in New Zealand, what do I do?
If you do not succeed in leaving New Zealand, or if you decided to stay in the country for another reason, keep the following in mind. If you visa expires before 1 April, you can temporarily apply for a new one at the immigration service. If your visa expires between 1 April and 9 July, it will automatically be extended free of cost until September. All guidelines of the DHSC that apply to Brits in the UK also apply to those abroad. These include keeping sufficient distance to others, avoiding social contact (especially with vulnerable people) en regularly washing your hands. Additionally, the following coronavirus measures are in effect in New Zealand:
- There is a lockdown, meaning everyone must remain in self-isolation
- All non-essential stores and establishments are closed
- Maintain a distance of two meters from employees in essential stores
- Do not use public transportation unless you have an essential profession
Will I be refunded the cost of my visa and booked trip?
If you already made costs for a trip to New Zealand which cannot go through due to the coronavirus, you likely cannot claim it anywhere. Many insurers will invoke the ‘force majeure’ clause in their contracts which states that in cases like a pandemic, they won’t need to pay out. Furthermore, many tour operators and travel agencies do not have sufficient financial means to refund all of the booked trips. The immigration service of New Zealand does not refund the costs of (NZeTA) visas which cannot be used due to coronavirus. However, approved visas might still be used for a future trip.
Disclaimer: coronavirus has led to a lot of uncertainties and the situation in New Zealand changes daily. Despite consulting various sources the completeness and correctness of the information in this article cannot be guaranteed. For the most up to date information, also contact your airline, tour operator or travel agency.