Severity: Critical Alert

Entry/Exit: New Zealand to quarantine inbound travelers from 2359 April 9. Highest alert level in effect, nonessential services closed until April 25.

This alert affects New Zealand

This alert began 09 Apr 2020 03:00 GMT and is scheduled to expire 25 Apr 2020 23:59 GMT.

  • Incident: Restrictions
  • Location(s): Nationwide (map)
  • Time Frame: Indefinite
  • Impact: Entry restrictions, quarantine requirements, business and transport disruptions

Summary
New Zealand will quarantine all returning travelers to the country from 2359 April 9, as the country continues to respond to a rise in coronavirus disease (COVID-19) cases. Officials will require inbound passengers to remain at government-designated facilities for 14 days. The measure comes as authorities extended an ongoing state of emergency, which allows the government to ban gatherings, take over facilities, requisition equipment and supplies, and close roads, among other measures, through April 15. The declaration requires renewal every seven days, and additional extensions are likely.

The government is maintaining a Level 4 alert, the highest level, for COVID-19. The government has instructed people to stay at home as much as possible. Officials have closed all educational institutions and nonessential businesses; however, supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics, utilities, and banks are allowed to remain open. Authorities have canceled all events, regardless of size. Schools will close to all but the children of essential service workers. Hospitals are deferring elective services and procedures. These measures will remain in place through at least April 25, though extensions are possible.

Officials are also limiting transport operations; only essential workers can use public transport. Police are also monitoring road traffic and have reportedly erected roadblocks ahead of the Easter holiday period to prevent nonessential travel. Authorities could punish people in violation of the orders as much as NZD 4,000 (USD 2,200) or up to six months in jail. Additional measures or adjustments to existing policies are possible in the coming days and weeks.

Travel Restrictions

New Zealand continues to ban all foreign nationals from entering the country. The measure includes citizens of Pacific nations, who were previously excluded from travel restrictions; however, exceptions will continue for citizens from the region and other foreign nationals for humanitarian reasons. Resident Australian citizens, permanent residents, and resident visa holders with valid travel conditions, as well as their immediate family members, are exempt from entry restrictions. Staff are conducting health screenings of all incoming passengers.

Advice
Postpone travel to New Zealand if affected by restrictions. Confirm flight status if allowed entry into the country. Follow all official instructions and allow additional time for immigration and health screenings. Plan to undergo quarantine if entering the country.

Exercise basic health precautions, especially frequent handwashing with soap and water, or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are unavailable. Practice good coughing/sneezing etiquette (i.e., covering coughs and sneezes with a disposable tissue, maintaining distance from others, and washing hands). There is no evidence that the influenza vaccine, antibiotics, or antiviral medications will prevent this disease, highlighting the importance of diligent basic health precautions.

Resources
New Zealand Government COVID-19 Information: covid19.govt.nz

Ministry of Health: www.health.govt.nz

New Zealand Transport Agency: www.nzta.govt.nz