Due to new cases of coronavirus / Covid-19 in the country, New Zealand has tightened corona measures. Tourists are still not welcome in New Zealand, even if they have a valid NZeTA visa.
No entry for the unvaccinated
With only 27 deaths out of a population of five million, New Zealand has come through the corona pandemic exceptionally well. This was partly due to strict border controls and lockdowns. New Zealand was also one of the first countries to introduce large-scale easing of domestic restrictions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic. But these measures can just as quickly be switched back on, as part of New Zealandʼs "Zero Covid" strategy. For example, the city of Auckland has been in lockdown for 10 weeks because of a localised outbreak of corona.
Again, infections have been detected in New Zealand. This includes the city of Hamilton and several villages in that region. Because of these outbreaks and the still worrying situation in Auckland, the New Zealand government has tightened the COVID-19 restrictions. Unvaccinated travellers who are not citizens of New Zealand are no longer allowed to enter the country, regardless of their destination. This applies to travellers aged 17 years and older. The national airline Air New Zealand has announced that it will no longer transport unvaccinated passengers.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that lockdowns will no longer be necessary when the vaccination rate in New Zealand reaches 90%. Currently, that percentage is 62%.
The travel bubble with Australia is no longer valid
The "travel bubble" between New Zealand and Australia is no longer active. This agreement allowed citizens of both countries to travel without quarantine. However, it was temporarily halted by New Zealand at the end of July 2021 due to an outbreak of corona in Australia. This measure was supposed to last eight weeks but has now been extended by two months. Travellers now travelling to New Zealand from Australia must spend two weeks in quarantine, even if they have been fully vaccinated. Prime Minister Ardern has called on New Zealanders in Australia to return "while they still can", to avoid problems including repatriation flights and quarantine.
However, Australia has announced that fully vaccinated travellers from New Zealand will be able to travel to Australia again from 1 November without having to undergo quarantine. The vaccination rate in Australia is much higher than in New Zealand: 77% versus 62%.
Travel to New Zealand will not be possible until 2022
New Zealand is still not admitting tourists, even if they are fully vaccinated and have a visa (NZeTA). Earlier this year, Premier Ardern announced that New Zealand would keep its borders closed for the rest of the year. The recent outbreak in Auckland in particular has caused great concern within the New Zealand government. Now that other regions in the country are also reporting infections, the government wants to prevent large-scale outbreaks in the country at all costs. Just like its neighbour Australia, New Zealand wants the national vaccination level to be high enough before it opens its borders to foreign tourists.
Apply for a New Zealand visa now?
Although New Zealand keeps its borders closed, it is still possible to apply for a visa for a trip next year. The New Zealand visa is valid for two years and can be used for an unlimited number of trips to New Zealand during this period. Each stay may last up to three months.