New Zealand declares state of national emergency

On Wednesday 25 March New Zealand has declared the state of national emergency to address the impact of COVID-19. Also on Wednesday 25 March at 23.59 the nation will move to the COVID-19 Alert level 4.

This infoservice message is meant to update you on the latest implications of this state of emergency. You can find more on the New Zealand official government website.

What does this mean for you in case of travel back to the Netherlands?

  • You can only access the international aiport if you have confirmed travel on that day and a valid passport. Auckland International Airport is only open for travelers with a valid passport and a confirmed international airline ticket that is valid through to the final destination. Should airline tickets include international transfer/ transit points which have been placed under restriction/s or closed by third governments, passengers will not be permitted to depart given the possible risk of return to New Zealand.
  • The New Zealand Government has allowed foreign travellers to leave or transit New Zealand before the end of a 14-day self-isolation period as long as the travellers have no positive or pending COVID-19 test result. Such travellers must have not had close contact with a suspect or confirmed case of COVID-19 in the previous 14 days and their airline and destination country must allow them to travel.

What does this mean for domestic travel?

  • People needing to travel on domestic flights, trains and Cook Strait ferries to get to their place of self-isolation will be able to continue using the passenger services until midnight on Friday 27 March.
  • As of Saturday 28 March air travel and ferry services and public transport only apply to the transport of people undertaking essential services and the transport of freight.
  • Tourists can use domestic air travel to proceed to an international airport to depart NZ.

What does this mean for you if you need to stay?

  • You must self-isolate in line with the nationwide lockdown which starts at 2359 on 25 March.
  • If you cannot find somewhere to stay, please register with the Temporary Accomodation Service by calling 0505 754 163. After registering, the service will work with you to help you find a temporary place to stay for self-isolation.
  • Foreign travellers with a temporary New Zealand visa which will expire before 1 April 2020 and are unable to leave NZ will need to apply online for a new visa  An interim visa will be issued automatically until their new visa is processed.
  • Foreign travellers with a temporary visa due to expire between 1 April and 9 July 2020 will automatically have their visas extended to late September. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders.

Visa holders

All visa holders are required to comply with Ministry of Health instructions, including the instruction to self-isolate. Travellers which willfully fail to comply with the Health Act risk being made liable under the Immigration Act.  

More information

If you’re not sure who to contact for help, the free government helpline may be able to help on 0800 779 997 (8 am – 1 pm, 7 days a week)