Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

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Papua New Guinea: Temporary Suspension of Visa on Arrival

As part of enhanced border security measures related to APEC Leaders’ Week, Papua New Guinea will temporarily suspend visa on arrival for all foreign nationals from 30 October to 30 November 2018. The suspension will not affect travellers who already hold a valid paper visa. During this time, travellers should apply for a visa through their nearest Papua New Guinea Embassy, Consulate or High Commission.

Istanbul, Turkey: Airport Opening

Istanbul’s new airport is scheduled to open on Monday 29 October 2018, with commercial flights transferred from Istanbul’s existing Ataturk International Airport (IST). In the period around the scheduled opening, flight delays and cancellations may occur and traffic congestion around both airports is likely.

We recommend you contact your airline for further details and to confirm the status of your flights. Istanbul’s Sabiha Gokcen Airport, on the Asian Side, will remain operational during this time.

Indonesia: 7.5 Earthquake

On 28 September 2018 a 7.5 magnitude earthquake struck the Indonesian island of Sulawesi. A tsunami later hit the coastal town of Palu and other parts of the Central Sulawesi province, sweeping houses and buildings on its way. More than 1,700 people have been confirmed dead and many are injured.

New Language for Travel Advisories

We have changed the language we use within our travel advisory levels categories, to make them more useful for New Zealanders travelling overseas.

The New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade now uses a four level system to give advice in each of our travel advisories:

-   Exercise normal safety and security precautions (previously “no significant security risk”)

-   Exercise increased caution (previously “some risk”)

-   Avoid non-essential travel (previously “high risk”)

Indonesia: Lombok: 6.9 Magnitude Earthquake

An earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 6.9 struck eastern Lombok (Nusa Tenggara province), on 5 August 2018. There have been several significant aftershocks of 6.5 magnitude on 19 August, and 6.2 magnitude on 9 August. Aftershocks are expected to continue. Reports indicate that over 90 people have died, and there are over 200 severely injured although these numbers are likely to rise.

Nicaragua: Civil Unrest

There has been a prolonged period of political unrest and street violence in many areas in Nicaragua since mid-April 2018. This has involved the use of tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition, causing many serious casualties and fatalities. There is potential for further violence and disorder – marches and demonstrations continue, particularly in and around Managua and Masaya. Major transport routes are frequently blocked, including land borders, and crime has increased significantly since the protests began, resulting in looting and food shortages.