Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

A number of countries and territories are currently experiencing an active outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus) which originated in Wuhan City in China.

For a list of the countries, territories and locations with confirmed cases of COVID-19, please see the latest situation report from the World Health Organisation.

On 31 December 2019, the World Health Organization was informed of cases of a novel coronavirus (COVID-19) in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. Common signs of infection include: respiratory symptoms, fever, cough, shortness of breath and breathing difficulties. In more severe cases, infection can cause pneumonia, severe acute respiratory syndrome, kidney failure and death.

Please see the Ministry of Health website for guidance on prevention, signs and symptoms, and treatment of COVID-19. This includes advice for travellers. If you are looking for advice about self-isolation requirements, please call Healthline on 0800 611 116 (from within New Zealand) or on +64 9 358 5453 (from outside of New Zealand). The Healthline team are specialists in assessing and advising over the phone.

Detailed health information, including information for travellers, is available on the websites of the World Health Organization (WHO) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Our travel advisories are under constant review. Please check them regularly before you finalise your travel plans.

We have reviewed our travel advice for China, and now advise that New Zealanders do not travel to mainland China due to the outbreak of COVID-19, the associated health risks and travel restrictions. This advice does not include Hong Kong SAR, Macau SAR or Taiwan. We advise New Zealanders currently in mainland China to depart at the earliest opportunity. See the full China Travel Advisory on SafeTravel.

A number of airlines have temporarily reduced or suspended flights to and from China. Contact your airline, travel agent, accommodation provider and travel insurance provider to confirm your travel and related arrangements. Airlines and other travel providers will have the most up-to-date information about flight availability.

New Zealanders in China requiring consular assistance should contact the nearest New Zealand Embassy or Consulate. See SafeTravel for contact details. 

Note that if the situation deteriorates further, the ability of the New Zealand Embassy and Consulates to provide assistance to New Zealanders within China may be limited. 

South Korea (Republic of Korea):
We have reviewed our advice for Daegu and Cheongdo cities, and now advise that New Zealanders avoid non-essential travel to Daegu and Cheongdo due to significant outbreaks of COVID-19 in these cities. New Zealanders already in Daegu and Cheongdo should carefully consider their need to remain there.

For the rest of the country, we advise you to exercise increased caution due to the heightened risk of local transmission of COVID-19 and heightened tensions in the region. If you are in South Korea, please monitor your health closely and follow the advice of the local authorities. See the full South Korea Travel Advisory on SafeTravel.

New Zealanders in South Korea requiring consular assistance should contact the New Zealand Embassy in Seoul on +82 2 3701 7700 or at

If you have questions about the impact of COVID-19 on your plans for an upcoming cruise, please contact your travel agent or cruise operator. Please also check the Australasia website of Cruise Line International Association (CLIA), which outlines their policies to prevent the spread of COVID-19. All CLIA member cruise lines are required to implement these policies.

For information on countries and territories which have COVID-19 related border restrictions affecting foreign nationals (some of which may affect travellers in transit), please see the International Air Transport Association website before you travel.

New Zealand:
As part of its response to managing the COVID-19 outbreak the New Zealand Government has extended the travel restrictions for some foreign travellers to Tuesday 3 March 2020.

The restrictions apply to any foreigners who have been present in, or transited through, mainland China 14 days prior to them departing for New Zealand. This decision will be reviewed every 48 hours and the New Zealand Government will decide on or before 3 March whether the travel restrictions need to remain in place.

This measure includes all of China, but not Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, and not Taiwan.

From Tuesday 25 February 2020, the travel restriction has been extended to include any person who was a passenger or crew on board the Diamond Princess Cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, or any other notified cruise ship, within 14 days of disembarking from the cruise ship.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will be exempt from the temporary restrictions, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days upon their arrival back in the country. Immediate family members who are not New Zealand citizens or residents are also exempt provided they are travelling on the same flight as the family member who is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident. Immediate family includes partner/spouse, legal guardian and dependent child under the age of 24.

For more information please see the Immigration New Zealand website and fact sheet . You can also call Immigration New Zealand on 0508 225 288 (within New Zealand) or +64 9 952 1679 (outside of New Zealand). 

Pacific countries
Pacific island countries are introducing measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 into the Pacific. All travellers to the Pacific should check entry requirements for their destinations before travelling.

Samoa has reduced the frequency of international flights from New Zealand to Samoa. Contact your airline, travel agent, accommodation provider and travel insurance provider to confirm your travel and related arrangements. Airlines and other travel providers will have the most up-to-date information about flight availability.

Travellers entering Samoa from or transiting through all ports in New Zealand are required to undergo medical examination by a Registered Medical Practitioner within three days before arrival. This medical clearance report will be required for check-in prior to issuing of boarding passes.

Other countries and territories:
In light of the developing COVID-19 outbreak, a number of countries and territories have announced they are closing their borders to foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China or other locations that have had cases of COVID-19. These border restrictions may apply to New Zealanders seeking to transit through these countries or territories to New Zealand.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade does not provide immigration advice for entry to other countries and territories. The border authorities of the country or territory you are travelling to make the final decision about factors which may impact your eligibility for entry. We recommend that travellers consult the official website or the nearest embassy or consulate of the country or territory they wish to enter before travelling to find out about any border controls that may apply to them.

Associated Advisories:

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