• THI

Borders reopening plan revealed by Hon Chris Hipkins

Updated: Nov 24


  • Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59pm Sunday, 16 January 2022

  • Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries from 11.59pm Sunday, 13 February 2022

  • All fully vaccinated individuals will be able to travel to NZ from 30 April 2022 onwards, with the re-opening staged over time

  • The Very High-Risk classification for Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil will be removed early next month

Fully vaccinated New Zealanders will find it easier to come home from January 2022, with foreign nationals to follow from April onwards, as the Government removes the requirement for MIQ for most travellers.


The Government has a clear plan, including a mandatory period of self-isolation. The border will open in three steps and all travellers not required to go into MIQ will still require:

  • a negative pre-departure test

  • proof of being fully vaccinated

  • a passenger declaration about travel history

  • a day 0/1 test on arrival

  • a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and

  • a final negative test before entering the community

When can travellers enter New Zealand without going into MIQ?

  • Step 1 – opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current settings from Australia from 11.59 pm on 16 January 2022 (provided they have been in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days)

  • Step 2 – opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings, from all but Very High-Risk countries, from 11.59pm Sunday 13 February.

  • Step 3 – opening to fully vaccinated foreign nationals (possibly staged by visa category), from 30 April onwards

Additional Notes

  • More detail will be provided in December for people holding existing MIAS vouchers for MIQ dates after the steps commence and on self-isolation for groups.

  • For Step 1, agencies will work with airlines on implementing checks of passengers’ compliance with travel requirements, including vaccination status and pre-departure testing, ahead of a rollout of a digital Traveller Health Declaration System (THDS) towards the end of March.

  • The availability of both New Zealand’s and Australia’s international COVID-19 vaccination certificates will support compliance checks. Immigration New Zealand airline liaison officers will be deployed on the ground as support in Australia.

  • The three steps constitute a medium risk pathway. Those who don’t meet the requirements for medium-risk pathway, but are still permitted to enter New Zealand under current border settings, will continue to enter MIQ upon arrival under the new regime of seven days in managed isolation, followed by three days of home isolation.

  • This will include those who do not meet vaccination requirements (including unvaccinated New Zealand citizens) and those from Very High-Risk (VHR) countries.

  • The Very High-Risk classification for Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil is to be removed in early December and travellers from these countries will be able to enter New Zealand on the same basis as travellers from most other countries.

  • This allows New Zealand Citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings to travel directly into New Zealand.

  • Papua New Guinea will continue to be classified as Very High-Risk. Only New Zealand Citizens and dependants can travel directly to New Zealand.

  • All travellers from Papua New Guinea must spend 14 days in a non-VHR country before coming to New Zealand. Exemptions are provided for humanitarian reasons.

  • The COVID-19 situation in these countries will continue to be monitored as part of a regular surveillance and assessment process.