What do our travel advisories mean?
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides advice on security and safety risks in many destinations. This advice is based on information from a number of sources. It reflects risks, and our assessment of what these might mean for New Zealanders. Our assessment may also take account of the actions local authorities are taking to minimise the risk, and our ability to provide you with assistance.
The advice is designed to assist you to make informed decisions about travel destinations. We cannot tell you what to do. But your travel insurance may be affected by the issuing of a strong travel warning (especially if we advise against all travel to a destination). It is recommended that, before setting out, you contact your travel insurer to check whether or not you will be covered by your insurance policy if you are travelling to a destination featured in our high risk or extreme risk categories. Insurance cover can differ from company to company.
We do not provide advice on all destinations. We focus on those about which we have reliable information on security and safety risks that may affect New Zealanders. You may also wish to consult the advice of other governments, but be aware that their advice is designed for their citizens.
We have a three-level system:
Extreme risk – We advise against all travel.
This advice usually applies to areas where there is conflict, warfare or ongoing violent civil unrest, or we have reason to believe there is a heightened threat to New Zealanders. New Zealanders in these areas should be aware of the limits on consular assistance that can be provided. The New Zealand Government may not be able to assist you if you are detained, injured, or otherwise prevented from leaving these areas. If you are in one of these areas you should consider departing as soon as it is safe to do so.
High risk – Avoid all tourist and other non-essential travel
This advice usually applies to areas where there are sustained or serious safety and/or security concerns which pose significant risks. If you are in one of these areas you should take your personal circumstances into account and if you have concerns for your safety, consider departing.
Some risk – Signifies a level of risk that warrants caution
This advice usually applies to areas where there are certain safety and/or security concerns. New Zealanders need to remain conscious of these concerns, although they are unlikely to affect the majority of New Zealanders in these areas.
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