New Zealand Travel Restrictions – 5 Tips To Help You Travel With Ease
Travel with ease in New Zealand
APRIL 13 was a big day in Aotearoa New Zealand.
This day marked a special occasion for Australian citizens and permanent residents looking to spread their travel wings overseas once more to visit the Land of the Long White Cloud, with fully vaccinated visitors from Australia allowed to enter the country without quarantine.
With New Zealand preparing to welcome the world back to her shores with open arms, this popular holiday destination, renowned for being clean and green, is likely to be in demand more than ever before.
Aussies are already turning their dreaming into doing and booking a dawdle across the ditch to see the famous places and hidden gems packed in between the Bay of Islands and Fiordland National Park.
But, before you start searching for things to throw in your suitcase, there are still a few additional things for travellers to consider when visiting New Zealand in what has now become known as "the new normal".
AAT Kings is here to help, and there are easy-to-navigate resources available to keep yourself up to date on the latest travel restrictions for Aussies wanting to visit New Zealand during 2022 and beyond.
TIP 1) FIRST AUSTRALIA, NEXT THE REST OF THE WORLD!
A five-stage plan to reopen the New Zealand border was announced with an accelerated timeline to allow visitors from April and May 2022 onwards rather than later in this year's third quarter.
Following this fully-vaccinated tourists from 60 countries on the New Zealand visa-waiver list including Singapore, the USA and UK are invited to start arriving from May 1.
And, while a date is yet to be set for all other visitors, experts are predicting the next step will come closer to the end of 2022 with the border expected to open fully around October.
TIP 2) WHAT ARE THE RULES FOR VISITING NEW ZEALAND?
Fortunately, the rules for Australian citizens and permanent residents are simple.
The regulations of quarantine-free travel require that visitors from across the ditch must be fully vaccinated, provide a negative COVID-19 test before arrival, submit a New Zealand Traveller Declaration (NZTD), and receive a Traveller Pass prior to embarking on their holiday.
The NZTD can be secured online through an easy-to-navigate website, and every person jetting in from abroad – including New Zealand citizens and permanent residents – must complete the traveller declaration and be issued a Traveller Pass to get the thumbs up to board a flight. A negative pre-departure COVID-19 test is also required within 24-48 hours of your flight, so ensure you keep up to date with these requirements on the official government website.
Travellers can begin their travel declaration 28 days before arriving and should submit the document as soon as their pre-departure test is confirmed to allow time for NZ authorities to "verify and review" the file.
TIP 3) CHECK THE OFFICAL GOVERNMENT WEBSITE FOR UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION
Rules and regulations continue to change quickly and, while revisions are slowing down, COVID-19 contingencies will continue being tweaked and it's each traveller's responsibility to stay updated to help their holiday get off on the right foot. Especially when it comes to entry requirements.
But that's no longer the challenge it may once have been given how tech-savvy the pandemic has made us. Zoom birthdays, e-conferencing, Teams calls, Netflix movie dates, and online Q&A services. Use those cyber smarts to secure the information you need to travel.
This is made simple with both the Australian and Kiwi governments providing a plethora of official platforms to navigate the pre-departure process.
The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's smartraveller.org.au has long been the best resource for Aussies planning on heading overseas, and that remains true as the world reopens, with the New Zealand section featuring a summary on NZ travel restrictions as well as other valuable health and safety advice.
The Kiwi Government's New Zealand Traveller Declaration webpage has everything needed to complete that pre-travel technicality, as well as a "before you travel" menu with links to details on vaccine and testing requirements, and the New Zealand Immigration site also answer common COVID-19 questions.
Airlines are well informed on the current criteria, and even those not travelling on an Air New Zealand flight will find the site assists by featuring a "we are here to help" section with intelligence on international travel and a COVID-19 information hub .
But remember, be vigilant. Only trust official websites – like those curated by governments and respected travel brands – and be suspicious about providing personal details to anyone that makes contact via email or text message.
TIP 4) BOOK SOON, BECAUSE NEW ZEALAND IS GETTING BUSY
Reuters reported that, on the March day when PM Ardern announced April 13 as the date New Zealand's borders would start reopening, the development caused a spike in searches, according to Air New Zealand boss Greg Foran.
"Flights across the Tasman have been particularly popular, especially over the Easter period where we have added over 90 flights to keep up with demand over that period," Chief Executive Officer Foran said.
"Pre-COVID-19, Australia was the largest tourism market for both our airline and New Zealand. We know a lot of tourism operators have been missing international visitors so we're looking forward to playing our role in New Zealand's recovery.
"On our long-haul network, we're seeing particular interest in journeys from North America around the July holiday period, (and) it's a sign tourists still have New Zealand at the top of their bucket list."
TIP 5) BE PATIENT, AND GO EASY ON GETTING BACK INTO THE GROOVE
With not many of us being able to take to the skies recently, it’s best to remind yourself of any safety and security requirements once you reach the airport, including whether you can bring liquids on board, what needs to be screened at security and how much luggage you can have as carry-on baggage. It’s best to make sure you have all the information you need from your airline before you check in for your flight.
During the next few months at least, be ready to take it slow while doing everything from moving through airports to checking into hotels and ordering meals at restaurants to hiring cars as operators work diligently to ensure your wellbeing, with additional measures in place to keep you healthy and protected against COVID-19.