After over two years of isolation from the rest of the world, the New Zealand government has announced that the borders will be reopened to international travellers. Hurrah!

To begin, there will be a phased opening with those travellers from Australia and the Pacific Islands already able to enter the country, subject to vaccination requirements.

There are a number of conditions of entry (that may well change as we progress through the year). Here, we’ve covered what you’ll need to know about the borders reopening, full chapter and verse, and what you’ll need to consider when travelling to New Zealand from the UK, with due thanks to the New Zealand Immigration department. 

When will travellers from the UK be able to enter New Zealand?

From 11.59 on 1st May 2022, vaccinated visitors from the UK who hold a valid visitor visa are able to enter New Zealand and self-test on arrival.

There are also other requirements to be met including: proof of vaccination, the negative result of a pre-departure test, the completion of a travellers declaration form and the negative result of a rapid antigen test (RAT) taken after your arrival in New Zealand.

What proof of vaccination is required to enter New Zealand?

You will need either a digital vaccine certificate (such as the NHS passport) or another form of confirmation from a government health authority or approval authority confirming you have had a full COVID-19 vaccine course.

Your documentation must confirm that you’ve had one or more COVID-19 vaccines (how many doses depends on which vaccine you have received), as well as:

  • Your name
  • The name of the vaccine or vaccines you received
  • The name of the agency that administered the vaccine
  • The name of the place where you received the vaccine
  • The date of each dose or the date when a primary vaccination course was completed

What pre-departure tests will you need to take before your flight to New Zealand?

You must provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 result from one of the following:

  • A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test taken no more than 48 hours beforethe scheduled departure of your first flight to New Zealand, or
  • Supervised rapid antigen test (RAT)taken no more than 24 hours before the scheduled departure of your first flight to New Zealand, or
  • A supervised loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) test taken no more than 24 hours before the scheduled departure of your first flight to New Zealand

You still need to take one of the relevant pre-departure tests even if you have been vaccinated against COVID-19, or you are self-testing on arrival.

These tests must be carried out by approved private health centres, not local community set ups offering free tests.

Medical Exemptions

If you cannot take a test due for medical reasons, you must provide a medical exemption certificate. You will need to get this 72 hours before your flight and present it as part of your check-in documentation.

If you have recently recovered from COVID-19

Even if you have recently recovered from COVID-19 (within the last 90 days), you still need to provide details of a current and valid pre-departure test. Your test may show a positive result, so you will need to see a medical practitioner who will examine you for current symptoms of COVID-19. 

If they are confident you do not have a COVID-19 infection and don’t pose a threat to others, you will need them to provide:

  • A medical certificate with the date of your previous positive test, within 48 hours of your flight to New Zealand
  • Documentation stating that they consider you as no longer being infectious with COVID-19

If you have tested positive for COVID-19 in the last 3 months, the New Zealand health authorities recommend you book your medical examination in advance of receiving your test results.  

What tests will you need to take when you arrive in New Zealand?

Eligible travellers entering New Zealand will be given a pack of rapid antigen tests (RATs) upon arrival at the airport, along with instructions on how to use them.

You must take 2 tests. Take a test on day one when you arrive in New Zealand, and another on day 5/6.

How will you report the results of your tests to the New Zealand health authorities?

You must report both test results, irrespective of whether you test negative or positive.

After you complete your traveller declaration, you will receive an email from the New Zealand Ministry of Health. You’ll need to follow the instructions in the email and report your results using the link that they send to you.

You can also call a COVID-19 Test Results phoneline with your result. Details on how to do this will be provided in your test kit. 

If you return a positive test result

If you return a positive RAT result you will need to:

  • Report it immediately and let them know that you have recently arrived in New Zealand
  • Isolate for 7 days, the same period as a community case in New Zealand
  • Get a PCR test. Tell the healthcare provider who does the test that you have recently arrived in New Zealand. The PCR test results can provide valuable insight into any potential new variants coming into New Zealand.

If you return a negative RAT

If you return a negative RAT, you must still report your result. You do not need to self-isolate. 

If you test positive after day 6

If you test positive after being in New Zealand for 7 days or longer, you will need to isolate for 7 days. You should have a contingency plan in place for this, you’ll need to source your own accommodation and cover any associated costs, you may also need to pay for any healthcare costs should it be required.

How do I complete the New Zealand Traveller Declaration Form?

This form must be completed if you are travelling by air in order for you to be issued with a Travellers Pass to show at check-in and upon arrival in New Zealand.

You can start your declaration 28 days before your flight and you will need to include the results of your pre-departure test. Here’s a handy guide on how to complete and submit your Traveller Declaration form, but if you’re struggling, just give us a call.

How do I keep up to date with the changing entry requirements?

By referring to the Silver Fern Holidays website of course! We’ll regularly update the website with any new changes to entry requirements. Or, you can sign up to receive our regular e-newsletters, get in touch at to be added to our mailing list.