Coronavirus Outbreak

Two females standing in an airport

Updated: 2 April 2020

To help you make an informed decision about the safety and wellbeing of your travellers during the COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak we have prepared the following information. It is your responsibility to ensure your travellers comply with any government travel restrictions.

Overview:

New Zealand Updates

Thursday 2 April

  • Air New Zealand will continue to operate on Alert Level 4. Domestic flights within New Zealand are only available for essential workers. Travellers will need to check that they qualify to travel under the essential services list before they book a ticket or head to the airport. Please see more information here.
  • Virgin Australia has made the decision to withdraw from flying Auckland to Rarotonga and Auckland to Tonga.

Friday 27 March

  • Jetstar will be temporarily suspending all New Zealand domestic services from Saturday 28 March 2020. 

Thursday 26 March

  • New Zealand is now at Alert Level 4. This means there are restrictions in place for passengers arriving to/transiting through New Zealand.  

Monday 23 March

  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand is now at Alert Level 3 and the in next 48 hours will move to Alert Level 4. 
  • Air New Zealand are working to add more domestic flights in the next 24 hours to support customers to safely return home.

Thursday 19 March

  • New Zealand closed its borders to non-residents and non-NZ citizens from 11.59pm, Thursday 19 March 2020. 
  • Safe Travel today has updated its advice. The New Zealand Government is advising that New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and travel restrictions. More information here

Wednesday 18 March

  • On 18 March, Safe Travel issued a notice advising all New Zealand citizens they should consider returning home. The New Zealand Government is advising New Zealanders to avoid non-essential travel overseas due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and travel restrictions. For more information please refer to advice on Safe Travel.
  • NZ Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced that all travellers will have to self-isolate on their arrival to New Zealand.

Monday 16 March

  • Effective from 1am Monday 16 March 2020, all travellers, except those coming from specified Pacific Islands, will have to self-isolate for 14 days on their arrival to New Zealand. This includes New Zealanders. The restrictions will be reviewed in 16 days and there will be more advice for self-isolation next week. 

Saturday 29 February

Changes to Travel Restrictions:

These restrictions apply to any foreigners who:

1. Have been present in, or transited through, Iran or mainland China or any other notified country, 14 days prior to them departing for New Zealand. Mainland China includes all of China, but not Hong Kong SAR and Macau SAR, and not Taiwan. 

2. Were a passenger or crew on board the Diamond Princess Cruise ship operated by Princess Cruises, or any other notified cruise ship, within 14 days of disembarking from the cruise ship.

Sunday 2 February

On Sunday 02 February 2020 the Government announced it is placing temporary entry restrictions into New Zealand on all foreign nationals travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China to assist with the containment of the novel coronavirus and to protect New Zealand and the Pacific Islands from the disease.

  • The New Zealand Government and other national governments have placed restrictions around travel to and through China. SafeTravel has been updated to advise New Zealand Citizens to not travel to China - more information here
  • Any foreign travellers who leave or transit through mainland China after February 2, 2020 (NZ time) will be refused entry to New Zealand.
  • New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand will still be able to enter, as will their immediate family members, but will be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival back in the country.

 

Impact to International Travel

Tuesday 24 March

  • Hong Kong will ban all visitors to the city including Transit passengers pass though Hong Kong International airport. The restrictions will be in place from midnight on the 25th of March local time and will be in effect for 14 days.

Monday 23 March

  • Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand is now at Alert Level 3 and the in next 48 hours will move to Alert Level 4. 
  • Air New Zealand are working to add more domestic flights in the next 24 hours to support customers to safely return home.

Sunday 22 March

  • Australia announces March 22 authorities will phase in lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria, due to COVID-19. Authorities in Australia announce nationwide closure of non-essential social venues from 1200 March 23.  
  • Authorities close non-strategic businesses in Italy through April 3, Lombardy through April 12; COVID-19 containment restrictions continue.
  • The Singapore Ministry of Health has tonight announced they will restrict entry and transit to/through Singapore from 23:59 on 23rd March. 
  • Emirates has announced the suspension of flights to more than 110 destinations across the globe, including Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane and New Zealand flights. More info.
  • The Australian Prime Minister and the national cabinet decided overnight to recommend against travel unless it was on compassionate grounds, work-related or tied to essential supplies. All non-essential travel should now be cancelled. 
  • Fiji Airways, Fiji’s National Airline, has today announced that it will suspend all international flights until the end of May, with the exception of twice weekly services between Singapore and Nadi.  

Thursday 19 March

  • Safe Travel today has updated its advice. The New Zealand Government is advising that New Zealanders do not travel overseas at this time due to the outbreak of COVID-19, associated health risks and travel restrictions. More information here

Wednesday 18 March

Tuesday 17 March

  • Canada has announced on Tuesday 17 March that it is barring entry to all travellers who are not Canadian citizens, permanent residents or Americans. There will be exceptions for air crew, diplomats, immediate family members of citizens and, "at this time," U.S. citizens.
  • Qantas and Jetstar have announced they are making further cuts to domestic and international flying schedules. Total group capacity will be cut by around 90% until at least the end of May, with domestic cuts of around 60% until the end of May. 

Previous

  • Prime Minister Scott Morrison has announced that all overseas travellers entering Australia from midnight tonight (Sunday 15 March) will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Cruise ships from foreign ports will also be banned for at least 30 days.
  • The USA has announced that a travel ban imposed on European nations would be extended to the United Kingdom and Ireland starting midnight Monday 16 March 2020. 
  • Spain’s Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez has confirmed a 15-day nationwide lockdown as part of state of emergency measures to control the spread of the coronavirus.
  • Singapore has put in place additional precautionary measures for some travellers entering Singapore. From 15 March 2020, 2359 hours, all new visitors with recent travel history to France, Germany, Italy and Spain within the last 14 days will not be allowed entry into or transit through Singapore. For Singapore residents and long-term pass holders with recent travel history to France, Germany, Italy and Spain within the last 14 days, they will be issued a Stay-Home Notice (SHN). Under the SHN, they will have to remain in their place of residence at all times for a 14-day period after returning to Singapore.
  • Singapore has announced that all new visitors who have travelled to Mainland China (not including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan) within the last 14 days, will not be allowed to enter or transit through Singapore. This will include travellers who transit in Mainland China to Singapore regardless of the duration and whether they had cleared immigration in China. More information on this announcement can be accessed here. 
  • National governments and major airlines in Europe continue to announce border restrictions, flight route suspensions and flight cancellations in response to widespread travel restrictions and a sharp decline in demand as a result of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
  • German Chancellor Angela Merkel has announced that the European Union will be closing its external borders and imposing a 30-day entry ban. Nationals of EFTA countries and Britain will be exempt from the restriction.
  • India has announced that all visas, barring a select few categories, will be suspended for a month in order to halt the spread of Covid-19. Visa free travel facility granted to OCI cardholders has also been suspended until 15 April. The advisory says that only diplomatic, official, employment and project visas will be exempt from the current restrictions, which will be reviewed again in a month.
  • Samoa has also announced travel restrictions - if you’re travelling from a country specified by the Samoan authorities, including Australia, you will require medical clearance at least 3 days prior to travel to Samoa.

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