The New Zealand government on Wednesday, March 16, announced the country’s borders will reopen on May 1 at 11:59 p.m., allowing international visitors from visa waiver countries, including the United States, to travel to the country without needing to self-isolate on arrival. Originally, New Zealand had been planning to open by July; this news means Americans can now visit two months sooner.

From May 1 travelers will be able to travel to New Zealand without self-isolation on provision of a negative pre-departure test.

Getting to New Zealand: From Los Angeles, Auckland is a non-stop 12-hour overnight flight. Prior to the pandemic, you could also fly to New Zealand non-stop from San Francisco, Houston, Chicago and Honolulu, with all of these routes scheduled to return in 2022. 

The high-level summary of entry requirements for all travelers to New Zealand pertaining to COVID-19 is as follows:

  • All travelers entering New Zealand must be fully vaccinated in line with New Zealand government entry requirements.
  • A negative pre-departure test (PCR, LAMP or rapid antigen) in line with New Zealand government requirements is required for all travelers. 
  • No compulsory requirement for all arriving travelers to either self-isolate or enter a government managed isolation hotel, i.e., all forms of isolation for arriving travelers (including foreign nationals) are removed at all border reopening steps except for unvaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents returning to the country.
  • All travelers will be provided with two rapid antigen tests at no charge on arrival at Auckland Airport, which are self-administered after exit from the airport.
  • Travelers will be asked to undertake the first test on their day of arrival and then a second test on Day 5/6 after arrival, this can be done once travelers have left the airport home or hotel.
  • Travelers who test positive via either of their arrival day or Day 5/6 RAT test will be required to take PCR test to confirm positive status, if positive they will then be asked to self-isolate in line with the requirements that apply to all community COVID-19 cases in New Zealand.

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