new zealand reopening border

New Zealand Plans To Reopen For International Tourism in Early 2022

New Zealand has shut down its quarantine-free travel bubble with Australia for two months.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden has announced that international borders will likely remain closed for most of 2021.

Suggested: Safest countries in the world to visit in 2021 (According to CDC)

More recently she has expressed the positive results of the vaccine for decreasing the spread and mortality of COVID-19, which means the reopening can be sooner than expected. 

When is Australia reopening for tourism?
When is Bali opening for tourists?
– Join our Covid Travel Advice FB Group

New Zealand Reopening – Newest Updates

October 9 – New Zealand prepares to reopen earlier next year, says government 

New Zealand unveils a plan to open free-quarantine travel lanes for vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries early next year, confirmed Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern this week. 

“Just like after 9/11, the border will never be the same after Covid,” she said. “Things can change, but that doesn’t mean we can’t adapt to them in a way that eventually feels normal again,” said the PM.

At some point this month, vaccinated New Zealanders will be allowed to return to the country skipping the 14-day hotel quarantine, which can be now observed at home. 

However, Starting Nov. 1, New Zealand will require all non-citizens to be fully vaccinated to allow them to visit the territory. (Exemptions apply).

Read our full post: New Zealand To Require All International Arrivals To Be Vaccinated

Who can enter New Zealand now?

New Zealand

New Zealand is only allowing tourists from Australia and the Cook Islands. Other people permitted to enter the country, either by air or sea, are those who belong in the following categories:

  • Citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand. Some exemptions may be made for non-permanent residents
  • Partners and dependent children of citizens and residents
  • Those who hold a diplomatic post in New Zealand
  • All citizens and residents of Australia 
  • All citizens from the Cook Islands

Other exemptions may be made for critical health and humanitarian workers, for citizens of Australia who normally live in New Zealand, for Samoans and Tongans under some circumstances, and for those with student visas under some circumstances.

For those who enter the country, a Covid-19 test is mandated as is a 14-day quarantine.

Can Americans visit New Zealand?

Unless they belong to one of the categories above, U.S. citizens are not allowed entry into New Zealand. 

Is it safe to visit New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of the safest places to visit during COVID-19 due to its low infection rates. The level of warning by CDC is only 1 which means the risk is very low. (

COVID-19 in New Zealand

COVID-19 situation in New Zealand

The Lowy Institute’s COVID Performance Index has ranked New Zealand as the world’s most effective COVID-19 pandemic handler.

So far, the country has recorded only 4,563 cases and 28 deaths.

Why do tourists love New Zealand?

New Zealand is a nature-lovers paradise. It has beautiful beaches and offshore islands as well as subtropical forests, snow-capped mountains, glaciers, lakes, fjords, volcanoes, hot springs, beautiful rolling hills, and areas of flat plains.

There is so much diversity here for those who love nature, not only in terms of the landscape but also in terms of the flora and fauna.

New Zealand

New Zealand is home to plant and animal species, such as the kiwi, that can be found nowhere else. This small, flightless bird has become New Zealand’s national symbol and the friendly natives also often call themselves Kiwis. There are also unique plants such as the ancient, towering kauri trees and the nikau palms.

The country has an inviting camper culture for those who want to set out and explore all of these natural wonders on their own. The roads are well marked and towns all have information centers to advise tourists. There is also a bus network if you don’t want to drive.

There is ample opportunity for outdoor adventure as well. Bungee jumping was invented here and there are many locations where adventurers can give it a try, as well as places to go surfing, skiing, kayaking, and sailing. Visitors can take a hot-air balloon ride over Hobbiton, where the Lord of the Rings was filmed, or explore mammoth caves, as well.

Travelers can also check out the distinctive Maori culture, or try some world-class wine. Because the country is so sparsely populated, it has a very friendly, small-town feel once you leave Auckland, which is the largest city, and the best place to find diversity. Fans of ethnic restaurants will definitely want to spend some time there.

New Zealand has taken halting the spread of the coronavirus seriously. Because of its strict measures, the country is now operating as normal, for the most part.

However, the government remains vigilant so that, for the time being, travel into this island nation is severely limited. When it does open up, however, it provides much to attract those who love adventure, nature, and distinctive culture.

NEW ZEALAND Reopening for Tourism: Update Archives

September 18 – New Zealand extended Australia travel bubble pause but may ease restrictions next week

New Zealand has extended Australia travel corridor pause for two more months but it may ease local restrictions next week, says Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

“We have made great progress to contain our current outbreak and are working hard to ease restrictions next week. Reopening quarantine-free travel with Australia at this point could put those gains at risk.”

The current Covid-19 outbreak in New Zealand has reached more than 1,000 total cases, but daily infections have started to steadily decrease. 

Source: The Guardian

August 15 – New Zealand would reopen borders in January 2022

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that international borders will remain closed until at least December 2021.

“We’re simply not in a position to fully reopen just yet,” Ms. Ardern said in a forum Thursday.

However, she also said that the nation would test a new individual risk-based model for quarantine-free travel in January 2022. 

“When we move we will be careful and deliberate because we want to move with confidence and with as much certainty as possible.”

Source: BBC News

July 31 – New Zealand has shut down its borders with Australia for 8 weeks

New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern shut the trans-Tasman bubble on Friday night, ending four-month of “almost” uninterrupted international travel with Australia.

“In the view of our health officials, there is greater risk now from the Delta variant than there was when we opened the quarantine-free travel arrangement with Australia,” Ms. Ardern said.

As of today, returning Kiwis and Australians who did not seize the opportunity to get back home during “the week-long grace period” will need to go through the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) program for two weeks in a government-managed quarantine facility.

Source: Canberra Weekly

August 30 – New Zealand will move from level 4 to level 3 on August 31

Most cities of the country are getting ready to reopen their business on Wednesday right after the country moves from alert level 4 to level 3 on Tuesday.

From Wednesday, cafes, shops, hardware stores and restaurants will be permitted to open for takeaways only. 

Kiwis will be able to only visit in-person supermarkets, butchers, fishmongers, greengrocers, gas stations, and pharmacies.

Auckland and Northland will still need to observe stricter restrictions.

Source: New Zealand Herald

July 14 – New Zealand may pause the travel bubble with Victoria (AU) this week, says government on July 14

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has required New Zealanders to determine if staying in Australia (Victoria) is absolutely necessary for them, giving the possibility that the country “pauses” its travel bubble with Victoria once again. 

“If I was them I would be thinking, ‘can I withstand a pause? So if there was a pause to be announced, would that be a massive problem for me?’ If the answer to that question is yes then I would encourage them to be coming home to New Zealand sooner rather than later,” said the minister.

The Minister will make a decision as soon as public health officials, who are currently reviewing the situation in Victoria, give him a situation report. 

Source: RNZ

June 3 – New Zealand to open quarantine-free travel bubbles with several Pacific Islands soon.

New Zealand and Australia are reportedly discussing the possible expansion of their existing quarantine-free Trans-Tasman travel arrangement to include a number of Pacific Islands. It would include New Caledonia, Tahiti, Fiji, and Tonga for now. 

Prime Ministers Jacinda Ardern and Scott Morrison met in Queenstown last week to join efforts on an Australian trade dispute with China, and also to discuss the future of travel in a post-pandemic world.

“We are very focused on supporting our Pacific family, and the idea of a bubble that goes beyond New Zealand and Australia is a real possibility,” said Morrison to reporters.

What none of the ministers mentioned was the potential date of the travel bubbles launching. 

Source: Government of Australia

May 18 – New Zealand to enhance its travel bubble agreement with the Cook Islands

Starting today the one-way travel corridor first opened in January that only benefited Cook Islands citizens, will also be opened to New Zealanders. 

The Cook Islands is a nation in the South Pacific made up of 15 islands scattered over a vast area of the Pacific Ocean. So far, the country has reported 0 COVID-19 cases and, subsequently, 0 deaths to the virus. 

Being the second biggest Pacific market to Auckland Airport, general manager Scott Tasker, considers this will be a great boost to the Cook Islands economy whose GDP mostly relies on international tourism.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern wants to return the favor to the Islands. So, in case of an outbreak, she is likely to immediately repatriate citizens rather than asking them to stay on the islands -as they do with Australia- “to reduce pressure on the Cook Islands and minimize further spread of the virus.”

March 5

New Zealand’s Prime Minister has said that the country will need to reach herd immunity levels through vaccination before any foreigners are allowed to visit. Australian neighbors who have similar low contagion levels could be the first to benefit from the measure as they advance on the vaccination of their own population. (Source)