On 20 June 2022, the New Zealand government announced that fully vaccinated travellers will no longer have to take a mandatory coronavirus test before departure. This is one and a half months earlier than planned.
Compulsory COVID-19 tests before departure no longer necessary
The New Zealand government announced last Monday that fully vaccinated travellers will no longer need to take a COVID-19 test before departure. This is thanks to the governmentʼs careful and step-by-step approach to reopening land borders and cautiously allowing tourists into New Zealand.
The original plan was not to abolish compulsory testing until the end of July. However, a low number of positive test results, combined with the desire to facilitate entry and stimulate tourism, have led New Zealand to drop the testing requirement earlier than planned. In addition, the public health benefits no longer outweigh the restrictions on travellers who are required to undergo COVID-19 testing prior to departure. The cost and availability of a test is increasingly becoming a barrier to tourists wanting to travel to New Zealand, especially as many other countries in the world have already watered down or even abolished compulsory testing.
Vaccination certificate still mandatory
All travellers over the age of 16 still need to show proof of complete vaccination upon arrival. This means that they must have received either two doses of Moderna, AstraZeneca or Pfizer vaccine, or one dose of the Johnson and Johnson vaccine. Travellers who only transit in New Zealand do not need to show proof of vaccination.
Travellers still have to do a self-test on the first day and on the fifth or sixth day to see if they are infected with COVID-19. If the result of the self-test is positive, they have to go into quarantine for seven days and undergo a PCR test. Children under the age of six months do not have to undergo a self-test.
Apply for a New Zealand visa
Do not forget to apply for your New Zealand visa, the NZeTA, in time. This is an electronic travel authorisation that allows you to travel to New Zealand without a visa. Anyone applying for a New Zealand visa online does not need to go to the embassy or consulate to have the visa inserted in their passport. The NZeTA is valid for two years from the date of issue, allowing you to stay in New Zealand for up to three consecutive months. You may stay in the country for up to six months a year.