Official advice for New Zealanders living and travelling overseas

Travel advice levels

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade provides advice on security risks in a number of destinations. This advice is based on information from a variety 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.

On 17 August 2018 we altered the headline language attached to our travel advisory levels. We did not change the way in which advisories are prepared, the substance of the advisories, or the thresholds for the different levels. We simply changed our description of the four levels.

The new advice levels correspond to the previous system as follows:

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

Exercise increased caution (previously “some risk”)

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

Do not travel (previously “extreme risk”)

 

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Do not 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, and should not expect that the New Zealand Government will facilitate your departure. (Note: prior to 17 August 2018 this level was described as "Extreme risk").

Afghanistan

Do not travel to Afghanistan. The hostile and unpredictable security situation, high and ongoing threat from terrorism and kidnapping of foreigners present a significant risk to New Zealanders in Afghanistan. New Zealanders currently in Afghanistan are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so.

New Zealanders who decide to travel to Afghanistan against our advice should ensure that appropriate personal security protection measures are in place at all times. We strongly recommend you consult a reputable security company with experience in Afghanistan for advice on security arrangements. Security arrangements should be reviewed on a regular basis. Such measures may mitigate the risks to your safety but cannot eliminate them entirely.

Algeria

Do not travel within 50 kilometres of the border regions with Libya, Mali, Mauritania, Niger and Tunisia due to a heightened threat from terrorism and kidnapping.

Azerbaijan

Do not travel to the Nagorno-Karabakh region and the surrounding military-occupied area due to political tension and the potential for armed conflict.

Burkina Faso

Do not travel to the areas north of the town of Boulsa due to the threat of kidnapping, terrorism and armed banditry. 

Do not travel within 40 kilometres of the border with Mali, Niger, Benin, Togo, and in W National Park due to the threat of kidnapping, terrorism and armed banditry

 

Burundi

Do not travel to Burundi due to the unpredictable security situation, potential for violent civil unrest, threat of terrorism and violent crime.

New Zealanders currently in Burundi are advised to depart by commercial means as soon as it is safe to do so. International airports and land borders could be subject to closure with little warning.

Cameroon

Do not travel to the Far North region due to the threat from terrorism, kidnapping and armed banditry.

Do not travel to the Bakassi peninsula region and within 40 kilometres of the borders with the Central African Republic, Chad and Nigeria’s Adamawa state. Armed bandits are known to operate in these areas and there is the potential for crossborder attacks and kidnappings.

Central African Republic

Do not travel to the Central African Republic (CAR) due to the unstable security situation, activities of armed rebel groups and the high level of violent crime.

New Zealanders currently in CAR are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so.

New Zealanders who remain in CAR against our advice should avoid any unnecessary travel, keep a low profile, maintain a high degree of personal security awareness and take all possible security precautions to protect their safety. We recommend ensuring you have adequate stocks of essential supplies on hand, and monitor media reports and local information sources closely to keep up to date on the security situation. 

Chad

Do not travel within 30 kilometres of all international borders and in the Borkou, Ennedi, Kanem, Lac, Ouaddaï, Sila, Tibesti and Wadi Fira regions due to the threat of terrorism and kidnapping, the presence of armed militants and the unpredictable security situation.

Colombia

Do not travel to the cities of Buenaventura and Tumaco, and in the border areas with Ecuador (except the border crossing at Ipiales), Panama (within Chocó) and Venezuela due to high levels of criminal activity and the threat of kidnapping.

Democratic Republic of the Congo

Do not travel to eastern and north-eastern regions of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), including the provinces of Haut-Uele, Haut Lomami, Ituri, Kasai, Kasai Central, Kasai Oriental, Maniema, Tanganyika, North and South Kivu and within 50 kilometres of the border with the Central African Republic. This is due to the unstable security situation, ongoing armed conflict and violent crime.

Djibouti

Do not travel to the border area with Eritrea, as a long-running border dispute has caused tensions between Djibouti and Eritrea. The security situation remains fragile and further conflict is a possibility.

Ecuador

Do not travel within 20 kilometres of the border with Colombia, except for the official crossing town of Tulcan in the province of Carchi, due to the threat from kidnapping and organised and drug-related crime.

Egypt

Do not travel to the North Sinai, including the Suez-Taba road, due to crime and continued terrorist attacks on police and security forces.

Do not travel within 50 kilometres of the border with Libya due to the risk of terrorism and ongoing military operations.

Eritrea

Do not travel within 25 kilometres of the border areas with Sudan, Ethiopia and Djibouti, including the town of Teseney and areas north and west of Barentu, Ak’ordat and Nakh’fa due to ongoing tensions in Eritrea’s relations with these countries, the presence of landmines and the risk of violence, including armed banditry.

Ethiopia

Do not travel within 10 kilometers of Ethiopia's borders with Somalia, Kenya, South Sudan, Sudan and Eritrea, with the exception of Highway 80 and the Moyale border crossing along the Kenyan border.

Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy’s peace overtures to Eritrea from June 2018 have resulted in the border between Ethiopia and Eritrea being reopened, although it remains a militarised zone pending withdrawal of forces.

Do not travel to most parts of the Somali region, specifically the Nogob (previously Fik), Jarar (previously Degehabur), Shabelle (previously Gode), Korahe and Dollo (previously Warder) zones and within 100 kilometres of the border with Somalia in the Afder and Liben zones.

Do not travel to certain parts of the Gambella region (the districts of Akobo, Wantawo, Jikawo and Lare in the Nuer zone and Jore district in the Agnuak zone).

Georgia

Do not travel to the regions of South Ossetia and Abkhazia and the areas near the administrative boundary lines. The threat of terrorism, crime and unexploded mines and ordnance makes travel to these areas extremely dangerous. 

Previous incidents of terrorism have included improvised explosive devices and other acts of violence in South Ossetia and Abkhazia. There is also a danger from unexploded landmines in Abkhazia and South Ossetia and mined areas may be unmarked. New Zealanders are advised not to stray off well-used roads and paths in those areas.

As these regions are not under the control of Georgian authorities, the New Zealand Government has a severely limited ability to provide assistance to New Zealand citizens.

India

Do not travel to Jammu and Kashmir (with the exception of the Ladakh region via Manali, or by air to Leh) due to the threat of terrorist activity and ongoing violence which remains high.

Do not travel to the immediate vicinity of the border with Pakistan, other than at the international border crossing between Atari, India and Wagah, Pakistan. Landmines pose a risk along some stretches of the India-Pakistan border.

Iran

Do not travel within 100km of the border with Afghanistan, within 10km of the Iraqi border or east of the line running from Bam to Jask close to the Pakistan border due to the threat of terrorism and violent crime. 

Iraq

Do not travel to Iraq including the Kurdistan region, (except Erbil and Sulimaniyah cities) due to the volatile and unpredictable security situation, the ongoing threat of terrorism, violent extremism and organised crime.

New Zealanders currently in Iraq with concerns for their safety are strongly advised to depart immediately.

No flag available Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories

Do not travel to the occupied Palestinian territory of Gaza (including the waters off Gaza) due to the unpredictable security situation, threat of kidnapping and potential for military operations.

New Zealanders currently in Gaza are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so. The New Zealand government has an extremely limited ability to provide assistance to New Zealand nationals in Gaza.

Do not travel to Sheba’a Farms and Ghajjar or within 500 metres of the border with Lebanon (the “Blue Line”) due to the risk of rocket fire, militant activity and military operations.

Do not travel to all parts of the Israeli-occupied Golan Heights to the east of route 98, or to the border area with Syria, due to the possibility of rocket fire, militant activity and military operations.

Japan

Do not travel to Area 3 near the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant, as identified on the Japan Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry website due to the risk of radiation. 

Kenya

Do not travel to areas bordering Somalia due to the significant threat of terrorism, kidnapping and cross-border attacks. This includes Garissa county, Mandera county and with Somalia, including Kiwayu and coastal areas north of Pate Island. 

Do not travel to the border areas with Ethiopia and South Sudan, with the exception of the A2 Highway and Moyale border crossing. Cross-border kidnapping and armed banditry make these border areas extremely unsafe.

Lebanon

Do not travel to the North Governorate (including the city of Tripoli), the Palestinian refugee camps, within 5 kilometres of the Syrian and Israeli border, in all regions in the Bekaa Valley north of Rayek, south of the Litani River and the southern suburbs (Dahiyeh) of Beirut due to the unpredictable security situation, significant threat of terrorism and risk of kidnapping.

Libya

Do not travel to Libya due to ongoing conflict and the threat of terrorism and kidnapping. New Zealanders currently in Libya are strongly advised to depart immediately.

As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Libya, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited. The British Embassy, which previously provided emergency assistance to New Zealanders in Libya, has closed due to the security situation. We offer advice to New Zealanders about contingency planning that travellers to Libya should consider.

Madagascar

Do not travel to Batterie Beach, north of Tuléar, due to violent crime.

Mali

Do not travel to Mali due to the unpredictable security situation, the threat of terrorism and risk of kidnapping and armed banditry.

Mauritania

Do not travel to the eastern and northern regions of Mauritania, or to Mauritania’s border areas with Algeria, Mali and Western Sahara due to the risk of military activities, the actions of extremist groups, and the risk of armed banditry and kidnapping. Anyone entering the border area could be considered a legitimate military target. Land mines are also present along the border with Western Sahara.

Do not travel to the provinces of Tiris Zemmour, Adrar, Tagant, Hodh ech Chargui, Hodh El Gharbi, Assaba, and Guidimaka.

Morocco

Do not travel to Western Sahara (a disputed and non-self-governing territory largely under Moroccan control), within 30 kilometres north and west of the Berm and all areas south and east of the Berm due to the threat posed by unexploded landmines.

Niger

Do not travel outside the capital Niamey due to the threat of terrorism and kidnapping, the presence of armed militants and the unpredictable security situation.

Nigeria

Do not travel to the north-eastern states of Adamawa, Bauchi, Borno, Gombe, Kaduna, Kano, and Yobe. There is an ongoing significant threat from terrorism and a very high threat of kidnapping in these areas. Any New Zealanders currently in these areas are advised to leave immediately.

Do not travel to the delta states of Abia, Akwa Ibom, Anambra, Bayelsa, Delta, Imo, Rivers (including Port Harcourt and Bonny Island) and the river areas of Cross River state in the south east of the country. The significant risk of kidnapping, armed attacks against foreign oil companies and expatriate workers, localised conflict and violent civil unrest present an extreme risk to safety in these areas.

Pakistan

Do not travel to the Federally-Administered Tribal Areas, Balochistan, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (formerly known as the North-West Frontier Province), and border areas with Afghanistan and India (excluding the Wagah official border crossing point) due to the significant threat of terrorism, the risk of kidnapping and the unpredictable security situation. Any New Zealanders currently in these areas are advised to depart.

Panama

Do not travel to the Darien Gap, south of the town of Yaviza, due to violent crime and the presence of drug traffickers and armed guerrilla forces. This includes the Darien National Park, nature reserves and tourist resorts.

Philippines

Do not travel to central and western Mindanao (including the Sulu Archipelago) due to very high threat of terrorist activity, kidnapping and violent clashes between the military/police and terrorist or rebel groups.

Russian Federation

Do not travel to Chechnya, Dagestan, Ingushetia, Kabardino-Balkaria, Karachai-Cherkessia, Republic of North Ossetia and the south-east parts of Stavropol Krai in the North Caucasian Federal District. Terrorism, kidnapping and military activity in these areas presents a significant risk to security.

Do not travel within 10 kilometres of the border with the Ukrainian Donetsk and Lugansk Oblasts due to ongoing violent conflict and the volatile security situation.

Saudi Arabia

Do not travel within 30 kilometres of the border with Yemen, including Najran and the southern and eastern areas of Jizan, due to the ongoing conflict in Yemen and the potential for cross-border missile attacks.

Somalia

Do not travel to Somalia, including Somaliland. New Zealanders currently in Somalia are advised to leave. There is a significant threat from terrorism, kidnapping, armed conflict and a high level of violent crime throughout the country.

New Zealanders who decide to travel to Somalia against our advice should ensure that appropriate personal security protection measures are in place at all times. We strongly recommend you consult a reputable security company with experience in Somalia for advice on security arrangements. Security arrangements should be reviewed on a regular basis. Such measures may mitigate the risks to your safety but cannot eliminate them entirely. No part of Somalia can be considered safe. This includes large cities such as Mogadishu and Kismayo.

South Sudan

Do not travel to South Sudan due to ongoing armed conflict, civil unrest and violent crime. 

New Zealanders currently in South Sudan are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so. 

Sudan

Do not travel to the Darfur region, the Red Sea state border with Eritrea, the Abyei region, Southern Kordofan and Blue Nile states, areas of Northern Kordofan and White Nile states south of the Kosti-El Obeid-En Nahud road, or within 50 kilometres of the border with Libya, due to the threat of armed conflict and terrorism and the high level of violent crime, including kidnapping. 

Syria

Do not travel to Syria due to the ongoing civil war and extremely dangerous security situation.

There is a significant risk of violence and kidnapping throughout Syria. A number of foreign nationals have been targeted and some have been murdered.

We strongly recommend any New Zealanders currently in Syria depart immediately or as soon as it is safe to do so. As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Syria, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens requiring consular assistance is severely limited.

Thailand

Do not travel to the southernmost provinces of Narathiwat, Yala, Pattani and Songkhla due to ongoing politically-motivated and criminal violence, which occurs on an almost daily basis. The Thai Government has warned tourists not to travel to these areas.

The Republic of the Congo

Do not travel to Likouala department within 50 kilometres of the border with the Central African Republic due to the uncertain security situation, high levels of crime and the large presence of displaced people.

Tunisia

Do not travel to the Chaambi Mountains National Park, including the town of Kasserine, near the border with Algeria due to ongoing armed conflict between Tunisian security forces and militant groups.

Do not travel within 30 kilometres of the border with Algeria, in the military zone south of the towns of El Borma and Dhehiba, and within 50 kilometres of the border with Libya, including the town of Ben Guerdane, due to the threat of terrorism, kidnapping and the presence of armed groups.

Turkey

Do not travel within 10 kilometres of the border with Syria due to the threat of terrorism, kidnapping and the potential for violence associated with the ongoing conflict in Syria.

Do not travel to the city of Diyarbakir in south-east Turkey due to the risk of terrorism, civil unrest and the unpredictable security situation.  

Uganda

Do not travel to the Karamoja region in north-eastern Uganda due to the threat of banditry, violent crime and armed clashes.

Do not travel within 30 kilometres of the border with South Sudan due to the threat of banditry and other violent crime.

Ukraine

Do not travel to Crimea due to the uncertain security situation. 

Do not travel to Donetsk and Luhansk regions due to ongoing violent conflict and the volatile security situation. 

New Zealanders currently in Crimea and the Donetsk and Luhansk regions are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so. The New Zealand Government is severely limited in its ability to provide consular assistance to New Zealand citizens in these areas.

Venezuela

Do not travel within 80 kilometres of the border with Colombia, particularly in the states of Zulia, Tachira and Apure. Drug traffickers and illegal armed groups operate in these areas and there is a risk of kidnapping.

Yemen

Do not travel to Yemen (including the island of Socotra). The ongoing conflict and the extreme threat of terrorism and kidnapping presents a significant risk to New Zealanders in Yemen. 

New Zealanders currently in Yemen are advised to depart as soon as it is safe to do so.

As there is no New Zealand diplomatic presence in Yemen, the ability of the government to assist New Zealand citizens is severely limited. The United Kingdom and United States Embassies in Yemen have closed due to the deteriorating security situation and will not be in a position to provide assistance to New Zealand citizens. You should take this absence of available consular assistance into consideration if you decide to remain in Yemen against our advice.

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