Arriving in New Zealand

Advice for when you arrive in New Zealand, including what will happen if you arrive by air or sea.

Arriving by air

You will need to wear a face mask that has been supplied to you when you leave the plane.

Government officials will meet you, explain what will be happening and answer any questions.

You'll then be screened for COVID-19 symptoms such as a high temperature.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you're waiting for the results of a COVID-19 test, you'll go to a quarantine facility. Otherwise, you'll go to a managed isolation facility.

Managed isolation is for people who are well but have a risk of having COVID-19.

People in a quarantine facility are those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19, have COVID-19 symptoms or have been in close contact with someone with suspected, probable or confirmed COVID-19 in the past 14 days.

Both types of facilities are located within hotels.

You must continue to wear a face mask until you get to your room at the facility.

Transfer to a facility

You cannot choose the city or facility you will go to. You'll be allocated to a facility on arrival. This will normally be with the other travellers from the flight you arrived on. 

Find out more about managed isolation facilities

You may be assigned to a facility that is in a different city to the one you arrived in. If this is the case the Government will arrange your transfer. Transport will also be provided back to the airport you arrived at, if you wish. Otherwise, travel home on completion of your isolation will be at your own expense.

Our onsite support team will work with you to confirm your travel arrangements.

Changes to international arrival procedures at Auckland Airport

From 16 April 2021, when you arrive in Auckland, you'll proceed through the airport and be transported to your managed isolation facility without your checked-in baggage, unless border officials require a specific inspection.

Your checked-in baggage will be collected and delivered to your managed isolation facility after you arrive. 

Find out more about these changes

Arriving by sea

When you arrive by sea, you'll be required to either isolate on your ship for a total of 14 days or you may be transferred into a managed isolation facility. If you isolate on board a ship, the 14 days starts from your last port of departure or last contact with other ships or people. All people on board must meet the low-risk indicators (including a negative COVID-19 test) and must have the approval of a Medical Officer of Health or Health Protection Officer before disembarking.

You will need to contact NZ Customs to confirm your journey, and Ministry of Health medical officers will check your health when you arrive. You'll then either be able to enter New Zealand or you'll go into managed isolation. The security of managed isolation and quarantine facilities, and all transportation to and from them, is managed by MIQ officers.

Currently all foreign ships, including yachts, motorboats and other recreational vessels, cannot enter New Zealand (land, ports and internal waters), unless they are specifically exempted. The Ministry of Health has more information about exemptions for foreign vessels to enter New Zealand.

Exemption for vessels to enter New Zealand(external link) — Ministry of Health

There are no restrictions on ships carrying freight. Cargo ships, fishing boats and ships including marine scientific research ships are exempted from the border entry restrictions. However, they must meet strict isolation or quarantine requirements.

Private ships travelling into New Zealand waters including superyachts, recreational vessels and yachts are not exempt from the border closure. Permission to arrive will be assessed on a case-by-case basis. The master of a ship will need to obtain clearance before leaving for New Zealand.

COVID-19 testing

Most people will be tested for COVID-19 within 24 hours of arrival (day 0/1). You may be asked to remain in your room until the results of the test is known.

If you are symptomatic on arrival, you'll go straight to a quarantine facility.

If the result of your day 0/1 test is positive, you'll be transferred to a quarantine facility. If you test negative, you'll need to continue the remainder of your 14 days managed isolation stay at your facility as normal. You'll be tested again around day 3 and around day 12.

Further information about arriving in New Zealand

NZ maritime border controls(external link)  — New Zealand Customs Service

Response to COVID-19(external link) — Maritime New Zealand

COVID-19 — Border controls(external link) — Ministry of Health

Border restrictions: who can enter New Zealand or request to travel(external link) — New Zealand Immigration

COVID-19 Transport Information(external link) — Ministry of Transport

Last updated: 21 May 2021