COVID-19: Alert Level 4 Updated 12:01 am Thursday 26 March

National state of emergency declared – stay at home. Updated information on border closure and extensions for visa holders.

State of emergency

Under the Civil Defence Emergency Management Act 2002, Wednesday 25 March’s State of National Emergency declaration allows the Director Civil Defence Emergency Management to direct and coordinate personnel, material and other resources, and provides access to other extraordinary powers that will support delivery of an effective and timely response to COVID-19.

Beehive statement | State of National Emergency declared

Level 4 Eliminate

Likely COVID-19 disease not contained.

Risk assessment
sustained and intensive transmission, widespread outbreaks

Measures (can be applied locally or nationally)

  • People to stay at home
  • Educational facilities closed
  • Businesses closed except for essential services (e.g. supermarkets, pharmacies, clinics) and lifeline utilities
  • Rationing of supplies and requisitioning of facilities
  • Travel severely limited
  • Major reprioritisation of healthcare


Epidemic notices

The New Zealand Government’s epidemic management notice relating to immigration matters comes into effect on Thursday 2 April 2020.

Holders of a work, student, or visitor visa with an expiry date of 1 April 2020 or earlier and who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa. An interim visa will be issued. 

Holders of a work, student, visitor, limited or interim visa with an expiry date of 2 April to 9 July 2020 inclusive who are in New Zealand on 2 April 2020 will have their visas automatically extended to 25 September 2020. Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders.

You can find your visa expiry date in your eVisa letter.

Epidemic Management Notice information

Travel to New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has further strengthened travel restrictions, closing our border to almost all travellers from 23:59 on Thursday 19 March 2020 (NZDT). New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, residents with valid travel conditions and their immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) can still come to New Zealand. Immediate family must have a valid visa or NZeTA and travel with the New Zealand citizen or resident family member on the same flight to New Zealand.

Australian citizens and permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand can also return to New Zealand.

All travellers must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Transiting and departure from New Zealand

The Government has decided to bring forward the date for people whose ultimate destination is not Australia from 23:59 (New Zealand time) on Sunday 29 March 2020 to 02:00 (New Zealand time) on Thursday 26 March 2020. This applies to all travellers except those listed below;

Australian citizens, residents and immediate family (partner or spouse, legal guardian and dependent children under the age of 24) are able to transit New Zealand to Australia. Transiting travellers must remain airside and cannot enter New Zealand.

New Zealand citizens, residents and immediate family (partner, legal guardian and dependent children) who normally live in Australia are able to transit New Zealand to return to Australia. If you want to transit, you need to remain airside and not enter New Zealand. If you enter New Zealand, you will be required to self-isolate.

New Zealand citizens, permanent residents who normally live in New Zealand and immediate family (partner, legal guardian and dependent children) are able to transit Australia to New Zealand. Transiting travellers must remain airside and cannot enter Australia. 

Airlines will not allow unwell passengers to board. Travellers must contact their airlines and other travel providers for the most up-to-date information about flight availability, transit and entry eligibility for areas affected by border measures.

Emergency consular assistance for New Zealanders +64 99 20 20 20 (if overseas) or 0800 30 10 30 (if in New Zealand).

Safe Travel | New Zealand Government

Entry restriction exceptions

Exceptions to the border closure can be made on a case-by-case basis by Immigration New Zealand for:

  • humanitarian reasons
  • health and other essential workers
  • citizens of Samoa and Tonga for essential travel to New Zealand.

If you have a valid New Zealand visa and think you may be eligible for an exception please contact your airline.

No other foreign traveller can enter New Zealand. Returning residents and citizens must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Information about exceptions

Travel to and from the Pacific Islands

New Zealand citizens from Tokelau, Cook Islands and Niue travelling to New Zealand must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.

Travellers to the Pacific Islands must meet the entry requirements of the country they are travelling to. Check flight availability and entry requirements before starting your journey. Health Officers are screening travellers from New Zealand to the Pacific Islands. Airlines will not allow any passenger with COVID-19 symptoms to board.

Safe Travel | Pacific Island countries

COVID-19 countries and areas of concern | Ministry of Health

COVID-19 symptoms | Ministry of Health

COVID-19 info: Pacific languages

COVID-19 info: other languages

Health measures

Health Officers are screening all travellers arriving in New Zealand. Travellers deemed high risk will be assessed.


You must obey self-isolation rules and any other government health measures.

New visa conditions: Visa holders who do not comply with instructions from a Health Officer can be detained and deported.

0800 358 5453 | Healthline

Self-isolation guidance | Ministry of Health

Visa processing information

All INZ’s overseas offices are closed for the foreseeable future as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. We only have skeleton staff in New Zealand and their only priority is dealing with any COVID-19 requests. Responses are being prioritised based on the direction of government e.g. health workers, and are intended only for exceptional cases. We are urgently establishing a system for dealing with these priority requests.

Residents with expired travel conditions cannot travel to New Zealand. You may apply for reinstatement of resident visa travel conditions.

Air crew and sea travel

Air and maritime crew continue to be exempt from the travel restrictions, including from the requirement to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival.

Ministry of Health advice to airline crew

Cruise ships cannot enter to New Zealand’s territorial waters effective from 23:59 Saturday 14 March 2020. This will remain in place until at least 30 June 2020.

Further information

COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) | New Zealand Government

Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak | World Health Organization (WHO)

Contact us

Immigration Contact Centre is currently experiencing extremely high call volumes and you may face an extended delay in your call being answered.

Urgent immigration queries only:

+64 9 952 1679 | outside New Zealand

0508 225 288 | within New Zealand