News report | | 14-04-2020 | ±3 minutes reading time

On 20 March, the New Zealand Ministry of Health announced that 56 New Zealanders were on board a cruise ship from Australia and that four people on this cruise ship later tested positive for the coronavirus. This news is causing quite a stir in New Zealand.

Cruise ship from Australia

The cruise ship in question did not originate from New Zealand itself, but from Australia. The Ruby Princess, as the ship is called, left New Zealand on 15 March and returned to Australia on 18 March. When all the people on the ship were tested, it became clear that there were four cases of coronavirus infection. As a result, all 2,700 passengers on board, including the 56 New Zealanders, posed a risk of further contamination. The New Zealand government says they are already approaching all passengers, and advises persons who have been in contact with these passengers to watch out for possible symptoms of coronavirus.

Self-isolation advised

The problem faced by the New Zealand government is that it is not only these 56 travellers who are at risk. All persons with whom they may have had contact afterwards may have become infected with the coronavirus. And in turn, these people may unwittingly spread the virus to others. This ensures that the government is constantly lagging behind. The only thing the government can do while the investigation is going on is to advise these people to isolate themselves from others until it is absolutely certain that they do not have the coronavirus.

Coronavirus in New Zealand

New Zealand has so far hardly had any cases of coronavirus. The total number of infections currently stands at 39, which is even less than the number of deaths in many European countries. One reason for this is the isolated location of New Zealand, but it is also due to the fact that not many tests have been done at all. Only 524 corona tests have been done throughout the country. The government plans to increase this number rapidly and it is therefore expected that the number of confirmed coronavirus cases will also increase.

Travelling to New Zealand: flying and visas

Both Australia and New Zealand are closing their borders to all incoming travellers, because the majority of coronavirus infections in these countries came from abroad. The only exceptions are persons with the New Zealand nationality. The travel ban came into force on 19 March. It is still unclear how long this will last.

This has consequences for the visa for New Zealand. Normally, this visa allows British and Irish travellers to travel to New Zealand without any problems. However, with this new travel ban, even travellers with a valid visa will no longer be allowed to travel to New Zealand. Only having a New Zealand passport will allow you to cross the border. The cost of an approved visa will not be reimbursed by the New Zealand Immigration Department.

However, visa applications for New Zealand are still being processed, since the New Zealand visa is valid for 2 years. This period of validity is much longer than visas for many other countries, which means that a visa applied for today or tomorrow can be used for a period of 24 months. If you are planning to travel to New Zealand in a few months or even a year, the visa can be applied for using the normal procedure.

Take note: the information in this article can be outdated. Before applying for a visa for New Zealand, read all about the current stat of affairs surrounding the coronavirus in New-Zealand.

Please note: this news article about the visa for New Zealand is more than one year old. It might contain outdated information and advice, and no rights can therefore be derived from this article. Are you going on a trip soon and do you wish to do know what rules currently apply? Read all about the up-to-date information about the visa for New Zealand. is a commercial and professional visa agency, and supports travellers in obtaining, among others, the New Zealand visa. acts as an intermediary and is in no way part of any government. You can also apply for a visa directly with the immigration service (58 NZD per visa, via However, not with our level of support. If you submit your application via, our support centre is available to you 24/7. In addition, we manually check your application and all the documents you provide before submitting it to the immigration authorities on your behalf. If we suspect any errors or omissions while doing so, we will personally contact you to ensure that your application can still be processed quickly and correctly. To use our services, you pay us 58 NZD in consular fees, which we pay to the immigration service on your behalf, as well as € 32,25 in service fees as compensation for our services, including VAT. Our services have saved many travellers from major problems during their trip. Should an application be rejected despite our support and verification, we will refund the full purchase price (unless an application for a previous New Zealand visa was rejected for the same traveller). Read more about our services here.