Written by Christopher Nye, Senior Content Editor, Property Guides
Last Modified: 30th December 2020

New Zealand continues to ban almost all arrivals, at the beginning of 2021. Although they have ordered plenty of vaccine, recent comments from the Prime Minister suggest no return to normality until the second half of the year. In the meantime, behind closed borders the property market is booming at record rates…

Please also see the official link to the current UK guidance and NZ guidance relating to COVID-19.

New Zealand currently has fewer than 50 active cases, and these are all in people who recently arrived in New Zealand and are in quarantine. There are no active cases in the community.

Overall, just over 2,000 people have ever had Covid in New Zealand and 25 have died.

Get your free copy of the New Zealand Buying Guide – it covers everything you need to know about buying here, step by step.

Can I visit New Zealand?

Probably not. The country is closed to nearly all travellers. Only citizens and those who have a critical need to travel can enter the country. You will need to make a special request to enter unless you fall into these groups:

  • You’re a NZ citizen or permanent resident
  • A resident with a valid visa
  • A visa holder who qualifies because of their close family relationship with a NZ citizen or resident
  • A diplomat

All other visitors must ask for approval to enter the country, and this must be for a critical purpose. You can find the critical purpose list here that covers, for example, health workers, and approval is via an online form.  If you meet the criteria, you must apply for a Critical Purpose Visitor Visa, and check that flights are available before you travel. You’ll also have to pay a fee.

Will I need to quarantine when I get there?

Yes. Those who are allowed to travel must quarantine in a special facility for 14 days after arrival although exemptions apply. You will also have to pay to quarantine in the facility.

Waiting for entry to New Zealand in 2021

When is the lockdown likely to end?

New Zealand has ordered plenty of vaccine for its 5 million people, including 3.8million of the Oxford vaccine. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said: “New Zealand is well positioned to get on with it as soon as it is proven safe to do so”.

However, speaking on 16 December, she offered little hope of a return to normality in the first half pf the year: “Our first priority will be to vaccinate border workers and essential staff who are at the greatest risk of getting Covid-19. We expect vaccines to be delivered to our frontline workers in the second quarter of 2021.

“Our aim is to then commence vaccination of the general public in the second half of the year. All vaccine roll out will be dependent on Medsafe sign off, which we are streamlining, and speed of manufacture. We are moving as fast as we can, but we also want to ensure the vaccine is safe for New Zealanders.”


Get yourself fully prepped for your move to New Zealand by downloading your free Emigration Guide today!

What is happening in the New Zealand property market?

According to the latest data, New Zealand property market is “red hot”, fuelled by historically low interest rates. Latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) found that the number of sales in November had risen by nearly 30% between this spring (in New Zealand) and last. Moreover, it was the highest monthly sales since March 2007!

Prices had risen by around 15% year on year to the end of 2020.


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