Thursday,  December 1, 2022  6:13 am

New Zealand lifts restrictions sooner, vaccinated Canadians can return in May

New Zealand lifts restrictions sooner, vaccinated Canadians can return in May
The Cavalli Islands are a small group of islands in northern New Zealand. (Tourism New Zealand)
Pax Global Media

The New Zealand Government has confirmed the country’s international borders will reopen on May 1 at 11:59 p.m. to fully vaccinated visitors from all visa waiver countries – and that includes Canadians.

As part of New Zealand’s sped-up reopening plan, which you can view here, arriving vaccinated travellers will no longer need to self-isolate on the provision of a negative pre-departure test.

A negative rapid antigen test will also be required upon arrival and on day five and six.

The news marks an end to what has been called one of the world's strictest border measures during the pandemic. 

READ MORE: “It is time, to move forward together, safely”: New Zealand unveils reopening plan

“We look forward to welcoming manuhiri [visitors], family and friends back in May,” said Tourism New Zealand’s chief executive, René de Monchy. “New Zealand has plenty to offer international visitors from breathtaking landscapes, rare and remarkable wildlife to our rich culture and heritage; our people and place are what make us unique, and we look forward to sharing this with the world again.”

In a statement Wednesday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said her nation was "ready to welcome the world back.”

Getting there

From Vancouver, Auckland is a non-stop 14-hour overnight flight and travellers can literally “wake up in New Zealand.”

Air New Zealand is confirmed to resume service and Air Canada, on Wednesday (March 16), announced the return of its South Pacific schedule.

Starting Nov. 12, Air Canada will resume direct service from Vancouver International Airport (YCR) to Auckland Airport (AKL), departing on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, on board a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.

A land of diverse regions and landscapes, New Zealand stretches across two main and a myriad of small offshore islands.

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern. (File photo/photocosmos1/Shutterstock)

Thrill seekers can add the adrenaline-rush of bungy jumping or exhilarating jet boat safaris, while the more sedate will enjoy world-class golf courses and award-winning wine and cuisine.

Meanwhile, New Zealand’s fascinating Māori culture provides unique opportunities to connect and learn.

A multicultural nation made up of vibrant and embracing cultures, Kiwis pride themselves in the warm welcome, or manaakitanga, travellers receive when visiting Aotearoa (New Zealand). 

Go to to start planning.

Entry requirements

Here’s a detailed summary of entry requirements for all travellers entering New Zealand:

  • All travellers 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 travellers.
  • No compulsory requirement for all arriving travellers to either self-isolate or enter a government managed isolation hotel, i.e. all forms of isolation for arriving travellers (including foreign nationals) are removed at all border reopening steps except for unvaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents returning to the country.
  • All travellers 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.
  • Travellers will be asked to undertake the first test on day of arrival and then a second test on day 5/6 after arrival, this can be done once travellers have left the airport home or hotel.
  • Travellers 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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