Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

ALERT - COVID-19: Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, some New Zealanders overseas may need to stay safely where they are....Read more

ALERT - COVID-19: Do not travel overseas at this time. Due to the difficulty travellers are experiencing returning home, some New Zealanders overseas may need to stay safely where they are....Read more

  • Reviewed: 3 February 2021, 10:36 NZDT
  • Still current at: 13 April 2021

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COVID-19

We currently advise that all New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and widespread travel restrictions.

The global situation remains complex and rapidly changing. International travel can be complicated with fewer international flights available and disruptions to transit routes and hubs. Any destination could experience a sudden increase in cases of COVID-19 and a heightened risk to travellers of contracting the virus. Strict health measures and movement restrictions could be imposed suddenly. Should you decide to travel despite our advice, be prepared to remain overseas longer than you intended. You should also be aware that your travel insurance may not cover travel disruption or medical expenses.

Managed Isolation and Quarantine in New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand must undertake 14 days of government-provided managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). Detailed information about MIQ requirements in New Zealand can be found at www.miq.govt.nz.

Pre-departure testing requirements for travellers to New Zealand
All travellers to New Zealand (excluding those from Antarctica, Australia and most Pacific Islands) must show evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result before departure. Detailed information about pre-departure testing requirements can be found on the Unite Against Covid-19 website here.

We recognise that some New Zealanders do continue to live and travel overseas. We continue to provide destination-specific advice about other safety and security risks below.

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Mauritania

Kidnapping
There is an ongoing threat of kidnapping against foreigners throughout Mauritania. Al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) and other groups have specifically targeted and kidnapped foreigners in parts of North Africa and pose a significant security threat in Mauritania.  There is a heightened risk of kidnapping in border and remote desert areas of North Africa. There remains a strong possibility that kidnapped foreigners could be on-sold to terrorist groups.

New Zealanders should maintain a low profile and a high level of vigilance at all times. Ensure appropriate personal security measures are in place and avoid unnecessary travel in remote areas. Travel routes and times should be varied to avoid establishing a predictable routine.

Terrorism
There is a high threat from terrorism in Mauritania. Terrorist attacks could be directed against any locations known to be frequented by foreigners, as well as premises and symbols associated with the Government of Mauritania. The porous nature of borders in the region means terrorist groups are able to operate across borders and carry out attacks anywhere in the region.

New Zealanders are advised to monitor the media for information about threats to safety and security in Mauritania and to follow any advice and instructions issued by the local authorities. 

Violent crime
Violent crime is common in Mauritania. There have been reports of carjackings, robberies and other crime affecting foreigners in the capital Nouakchott. We recommend you avoid the beach at Nouakchott and Le Cinquième district at night. Bandits are active across Mauritania, particularly in remote areas.

New Zealanders are advised to avoid travel after dark and to isolated areas and to avoid displaying or wearing items that appear valuable, such as mobile devices and jewellery. When travelling by car, keep doors locked and windows up at all times and hide valuables from view. If you plan on travelling outside urban areas, we advise seeking reputable local advice and travelling in convoy with adequate security.

Civil unrest
Demonstrations occur from time to time in Mauritania, including in Nouakchott. Most are peaceful although some have involved clashes between security forces and demonstrators.

New Zealanders in Mauritania are advised to avoid all demonstrations, protests and large public gatherings as these may turn violent with little warning.

General travel advice
As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Mauritania, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited.

Carry ID, especially when travelling outside urban areas (where you may encounter many police road checks). You should comply promptly with directions from the police and other Mauritanian security forces.

Modesty and discretion should be exercised in both dress and behaviour in Mauritania to avoid offending local sensitivities.

New Zealanders travelling or living in Mauritania should have a comprehensive travel insurance policy in place that includes provision for medical evacuation by air. You should also check your travel insurance covers travel to Mauritania – exclusions may apply.

New Zealanders in Mauritania are strongly encouraged to register their details with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.

See our regional advice for Africa

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