Last updated August 18, 2021
The wonder of New Zealand's natural landscape can only be matched by the kindness of the country's people and the richness of the history. The Maori people indigenous to the islands are an important part of the country and a vibrant part of the culture. Taking a trip to New Zealand is the perfect opportunity for adventure-junkies, nature-lovers and people looking for a unique experience.
Travel insurance isn't mandatory, but it's recommended
Looking for New Zealand travel insurance requirements? New Zealand requires applicants for certain visas to provide proof of travel medical insurance. If you're going to New Zealand to live or work, for example, you'll need to purchase New Zealand travel insurance. For all other visitors, New Zealand travel health insurance is recommended but not mandatory.
COVID-19 in New Zealand
As of May 2021, entry to New Zealand from all countries remains strictly controlled in order to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. The border is currently closed to almost all travelers, unless you have certain circumstances that permit you to enter. Tourist travel is not one of these circumstances; tourists cannot enter the country right now. The country has announced plans to reopen to foreign visitors in 2022.
If you have to visit the country, consider Cancel For Any Reason (CFAR) insurance so that you may recoup some of your costs if you need to cancel, postpone or cut short your original travel plans for any reason, including COVID-19-related concerns.
If travel is a must, here are some precautions to take:
Before you travel:
- Get tested with a viral test 1 to 3 days before your trip
- If you were exposed to COVID-19, are sick, or test positive for the disease, do not travel
- Follow all entry requirements for New Zealand and be sure you have all required documentation
- Wear a mask
- Practice social distancing protocols
- Wash your hands often
- Be vigilant. If you experience any symptoms take all necessary precautions to protect yourself and those around you
After you travel:
- Get tested 3 to 5 days after you return to your home country
- Stay home and self-quarantine for 7 days
- If you don't get tested, it's best to self-quarantine for at least 10 days
Traveling from the United States:
- If you have a return flight to the U.S., you must get a viral test in New Zealand no more than 3 days before your flight, and the test results have to be negative
- Keep your test results on hand in case you're asked for them
- Follow all United States guidelines and airline protocols
Health & Safety Tips
New Zealand is a fairly safe country, but it's always a good idea to be cautious. Don't carry large amounts of cash or walk down dark streets at night. Also, never leave a drink unattended and try to avoid accepting drinks from strangers that you didn't see the bartender make. For more safety tips, check out the New Zealand Police's website.
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend the following vaccinations for the New Zealand: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, rabies, meningitis, polio, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella), Tdap (tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis), chickenpox, shingles, pneumonia and influenza.
Visas and Documentation
You will not need a visa if you are a citizen or permanent resident of New Zealand, Australia, the U.K., the U.S. or any of the other countries listed on New Zealand's website. Even if you come from one of these countries, however, you will need to acquire a New Zealand electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA).
If you're not from one of those countries or you are planning to stay in New Zealand for more than nine months, you will also need to apply for a visa. There are a number of different visas that can be very particular depending on what you plan to do while in New Zealand. You can learn more about these visas and which one you will need on New Zealand's official website.