The New Zealand government has announced that tourists and business travellers will be welcome back in the country as of 30 April 2022. Travellers must, however, meet some conditions, such as having a valid New Zealand visa.
Final date set
In September, the New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern had already announced that the country would keep its borders closed for the rest of the year. Currently, only citizens and residents of New Zealand are allowed to enter the country. However, they must undergo a 7-day quarantine in a government-designated facility. Because these facilities are limited, this has discouraged many people from returning to New Zealand.
It was hoped that New Zealand would reopen at the beginning of 2022, although no definite date had yet been announced. This is now the case. As of April 30, fully vaccinated tourists and business travellers are allowed to travel to New Zealand again. As early as January 16, fully vaccinated citizens and residents of New Zealand residing in Australia can travel to New Zealand without having to undergo quarantine at a government facility. For fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents coming from other countries, the date of February 13 applies.
The situation regarding the coronavirus in New Zealand is at the moment relatively stable. Vaccination rates in New Zealand are rising rapidly, with 84% of vaccine-eligible residents fully vaccinated. Earlier this autumn, there were still some outbreaks in the country, mainly in the Auckland region. The lockdown in Auckland will be lifted in early December.
Vaccination and COVID-19 tests
The New Zealand government has also announced the conditions that will apply to travellers who want to travel to the country in 2022. The main condition is that all travellers must be fully vaccinated. This means that they must have had two doses, or a single dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. New Zealand accepts all vaccines that have been approved by the WHO.
Travellers must be able to show an official vaccination certificate. They also must undergo a COVID-19 test before departure. Only if the result is negative can they travel to New Zealand. After arrival, a second test must be done. If this test also proves negative, travellers are not required to undergo a quarantine in a government-designated facility, but must spend seven days in self-isolation.
Mandatory visa for New Zealand
In addition to the vaccination certificate and a negative test result, it is also mandatory to apply for a visa in order to travel to New Zealand. New Zealand has not yet announced any changes with regard to visas. This means that travellers will need to apply for a one before departure to be able to check in for their flight. The easiest way to meet the visa obligation is to apply for the NZeTA visa. The NZeTA is an electronic travel authorisation that is digitally linked to the traveller‘s passport. Employees at the airport can see whether a valid visa has been granted by scanning the passport.
The best way to apply for a visa is by filling in the online application form. This takes only a few minutes. After the form is submitted and the payment is made it takes an average of five working days for the visa to be approved. An NZeTA visa is valid for two years and it allows visitors to stay in New Zealand for three months per visit. The visa can be used for an unlimited number of trips to New Zealand during the two-year validity period.