Written by Christopher Nye, Senior Content Editor, Property Guides
Last Modified: 21st May 2021

New Zealand continues to ban almost all arrivals. 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 24 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 2,600 people have ever had Covid in New Zealand and 26 have died.

Can I visit New Zealand?

Probably not. The country is closed to nearly all travellers. Only citizens, those in a safe zone (currently just Australia, the Cook Islands and Niue) 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

The country is closed to nearly all travellers.

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, all travellers entering New Zealand, except those from a safe zone, must complete a mandatory 14-day managed isolation or quarantine at a hotel. You will also have to pay to quarantine in the facility.

Waiting for entry to New Zealand in 2021

When could we travel to New Zealand?

Currently, only the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is authorised for use in New Zealand. Around 475,000 people have received at least one dose of the vaccine and just over 150,000 are fully vaccinated. Those aged 50-59 have received the most vaccines out of any age group in the country. New Zealand plans to vaccine all over 16s by July.

While travel to New Zealand is currently banned, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern recently revealed that the country is looking into the possibility of more “travel bubbles”, similar to the one with Australia.

New Zealand is on the UK’s green list, meaning that once New Zealand allows British travellers to enter, there would be no quarantine on return. So, when might the UK be in New Zealand’s travel bubble? It’s hard to say.

In regards to potential travel bubbles, Prime Minister Arden said: “In this phase, where vaccine roll out in New Zealand is incomplete, the number of countries we can safely open up to is limited.”

She added that a country must have the same status as New Zealand when it comes to Covid risk (i.e. the risk of bringing Covid into New Zealand must be as low as it would be if a New Zealander travelled to the UK).

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 and lack of supply. Latest data from the Real Estate Institute of New Zealand (REINZ) found that the number of sales of residential property in April was the highest in an April month for 5 years!

Nationally, prices have risen by around 19% year on year in April 2021. Auckland saw record prices, with average house prices rising from $925,000 in April 2020 to $1,125,000 in April 2021!

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