Staged reopening of New Zealand borders

Note: updated 19 January 2022

Reconnecting New Zealand to the World

The Government has announced several dates to map out the reopening of New Zealand borders to international travellers. With restrictions dramatically eased for New Zealand citizens initially, the first quarter of 2022 will see these steps progressively extended to all travellers from April 2022.

The announcement also comes with a substantial easing of quarantine requirements, allowing a reduced period of isolation at  home rather than in managed facilities.

A three step approach to reopening New Zealand Borders

Step 1 - Eligible travellers from Australia

As a first step, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens, residents, and other eligible travellers will be able travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from the end of February, providing they had been in Australia or New Zealand for at least 14 days.

Eligible travellers include:

  • New Zealand citizens
  • New Zealand permanent residents or resident visa holders
  • Australian citizens or permanent residence visa holders where New Zealand is your primary place of established residence
  • holders of a critical purpose visa (with a border exception), or
  • partners, dependent child/ren or parents of a dependent child who is:
    • a New Zealand citizen,
    • a New Zealand resident, or
    • one of the people listed in the bullet points above.

Eligible travellers who are not travelling from Australia can still travel to New Zealand but must enter and stay in managed isolation and quarantine, until Step 2 is implemented (below).

This step will be reviewed late February 2022.

Step 2 - Eligible travellers from other countries

As a second step, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens, residents, and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from a date yet to be confirmed. This step will be reviewed late February 2022.

Step 3 - Visa holding travellers

All fully vaccinated travellers will be able to arrive in NZ from 30 April 2022 onwards (date to be reviewed) with the re-opening staged over time, possibly by visa category.

This step will be staged over time, so not all visa holders/applicants will be able to enter New Zealand from this date. This is to manage the volume of arrivals into New Zealand, health risks, and immigration visa processing capacity.

Quarantine requirements

Eased quarantine for vaccinated travellers: the medium risk pathway

The requirement to spend time in MIQ (Managed Isolation and Quarantine) has been eased and will progressively be phased out for most people, in favour of self-isolation (home-isolation). Travellers not required to go into MIQ will still require:

  • a negative pre-departure test
  • proof of being fully vaccinated
  • a passenger declaration about travel history
  • a day 0/1 test on arrival
  • a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and
  • a final negative test before entering the community

MIQ: the high risk pathway

Those who do not meet the requirements for medium-risk pathway, but are still permitted to enter New Zealand under current border settings (including unvaccinated New Zealand citizens), will continue to enter MIQ upon arrival under the new regime of seven days in managed isolation, followed by three days of home isolation.