New Zealand Has Reopened Its Borders for International Travel— What to Know

Travelers must be vaccinated, provide a pre-departure COVID-19 test, and test on arrival.

New Zealand has officially reopened its borders for international travel, Tourism Minister Stuart Nash and Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced Monday.

Travelers must be vaccinated and arrive with proof of either a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of their departure or proof of a supervised rapid antigen test taken within 24 hours of their departure, according to the government. Travelers will also be required to test upon arrival.

"Today marks a milestone for visitors from our key northern hemisphere markets in the USA, UK, Germany, South Korea, Japan, Singapore, Malaysia, Canada, and others, who can now jump on a plane to come here," Nash said in a statement.

With its newly opened borders New Zealand is accepting travelers from visa-waiver countries including the United States, Canada, and the UK. For a full list of countries, travelers can visit the New Zealand immigration site.

Beginning in July, travelers from all countries will be able to visit New Zealand, and the country plans to take steps to bring back cruise ships and ease immigration, The Associated Press reported. Also in July the country plans to do away with departure testing.

A general nightime view of the Auckland skyline as seen from the new Park Hyatt hotel
James D. Morgan/Getty Images

According to the government later in the year, New Zealand will welcome international carriers Emirates, Air Canada, Malaysian Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines, LATAM Airlines, and Air Tahiti Nui as they restart their routes. "Air New Zealand is also adding long haul routes from San Francisco, Honolulu, Houston, New York, and Chicago," Nash said.

The decision to open up follows a spike in cases in the country. Currently, New Zealand is averaging 7,600 new infections each day, or 37% of its peak, according to Reuters. New Zealand has a very high vaccination rate with 96% of people 12 and older having been fully vaccinated, according to the government.

New Zealand's official reopening has trailed neighboring Australia's border reopening in February, following a nearly two-year closure.

Alison Fox is a contributing writer for Travel + Leisure. When she's not in New York City, she likes to spend her time at the beach or exploring new destinations and hopes to visit every country in the world. Follow her adventures on Instagram.

Updated by
Jamie Aranoff
Jamie Aranoff headshot
Jamie Aranoff is an assistant editor for Travel + Leisure, specializing in all things travel news. Prior to joining T+L, she worked for ABC News on the network assignment desk. Jamie is a chronic over-packer and a firm advocate for the window seat.
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