New Zealand reopens borders to Singapore, UK, USA and other visa waiver countries from 2 May

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New Zealand is reopening its borders 6 months ahead of schedule to Singaporeans and travellers from visa waiver countries- no quarantine required.

New Zealand has announced that it will reopen its borders earlier than expected, with fully vaccinated tourists from Singapore, UK, USA and other visa-waiver countries allowed to enter from 2 May 2022.

❓ 1 May or 2 May?
The media is reporting the reopening as 1 May 2022, but it actually comes into effect from 1 May  2022 11.59 p.m, essentially 2 May 2022. Take note if you’re planning to take the first flight over!

This represents a six-month acceleration of the original October timeline, and even better, there will be no quarantine necessary on arrival. 

Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand resumes

✈️ Summary: Travel to New Zealand
  • Fully vaccinated with any vaccine in the WHO EUL (exemption for children aged 16 and below)
  • Apply for NZeTA
  • Complete Health Declaration
  • Take pre-departure ART/PCR test 24/48h before flight
  • Take self-administered ART on Day 0/1 and report result
  • Take self-administered ART on Day 5/6 and report result

From Sunday, 1 May 2022, 11.59 p.m, New Zealand will open its borders to visitors from all visa-waiver countries, regardless of travel purpose.

🇳🇿 New Zealand Visa-Waiver Countries
  • Andorra
  • Argentina
  • Austria
  • Bahrain
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Brunei
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Croatia
  • Cyprus
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia1
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hong Kong2
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea, South
  • Kuwait
  • Latvia3
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania4
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau5
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Monaco
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Oman
  • Poland
  • Portugal6 
  • Qatar
  • Romania
  • San Marino
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovak Republic
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan7 
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom (UK)8 
  • United States of America (USA)9 
  • Uruguay
  • Vatican City
1. Citizens only
2. Residents with HKSAR or British National–Overseas passports only
3. Citizens only
4. Citizens only
5. Only if you have a Macau Special Administrative Region passport
6. If you have the right to live permanently in Portugal
7. If you are a permanent resident
8. If you are travelling on a UK or British passport that shows you have the right to reside permanently in the UK
9. Including USA nationals

Travellers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 (children aged 16 and under are exempt). New Zealand accepts any vaccine on the WHO list, so the Sinovac and Sinopharm crowd won’t encounter any issues.

🇦🇺 Early access for Aussies
Australian citizens and permanent residents get early access to New Zealand from 11.59 p.m on 12 April 2022. Well, they can be the beta testers…

They must apply for a NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority), and present a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test, which can either be:

  • A PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure of the first international flight to New Zealand
  • A supervised ART taken within 24 hours of departure of the first international flight to New Zealand
  • A supervised LAAMP test taken within 24 hours of departure of the first international flight to New Zealand

Further COVID-19 testing will be required on arrival, and on Day 5 or 6 day in New Zealand (the day of arrival is Day 0). Both tests will be self-administered ARTs, and results (whether positive or negative) must be reported.

You must report both RAT results, whether you test negative or positive.

You will receive an email from the New Zealand Ministry of Health after you complete your traveller declaration. Follow the instructions in the email and report your results using the link in the email.

You can also call the COVID-19 Test Results Line and leave a message with your result.

Call: 0800 432 010

-NZ Government

No isolation is required before/after either test. 

Further opening to travellers from non-visa waiver countries is expected to take place from October 2022, although this may be likewise accelerated now. 

Travel from New Zealand to Singapore

New Zealand, surprisingly, is neither a Category I nor a VTL country. Instead, it’s on the General Travel: Non-VTL list, which means that all travellers will need to serve a 7-day SHN on return, regardless of vaccination status. 

CategorySHNPDTOn-arrival Test
Category IN/AART or PCR within 2 days of depart. to SGSelf-ART within 24h
General Travel: VTLN/A
General Travel: Non-VTL7 days
(Home)
PCR at end of SHN
Restricted7 days
(Hotel)
PCR within 2 days of depart. to SGPCR on arrival
PCR at end of SHN
Category I: China, Macau, Taiwan
VTL: Australia, Brunei, Cambodia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Fiji, France, Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Israel, Italy, Malaysia, Maldives, Netherlands, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Korea, Spain, Sri Lanka, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, UAE, UK, USA [Greece, Vietnam from 16 Mar]
Non-VTL: All other countries
Restricted: No countries at the moment

However, I am almost certain that the demise of the VTLs is nigh, and therefore I wouldn’t worry too much about this. By the time May comes round, Singapore is very likely to have transitioned to a simpler system based solely on vaccination status. 

Conclusion

New Zealand will reopen its borders to fully vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries from 2 May 2022, a full six months ahead of schedule.

While it’s not yet on the VTL list, I remain convinced the VTL won’t exist by the time the reopening happens- and if it does, something must have gone horribly wrong! 

Anyone planning a New Zealand trip?

Aaron Wong
Aaron Wong
Aaron founded The Milelion to help people travel better for less and impress chiobu. He was 50% successful.

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Mike

Yippee!! Made speculative redemption for 4x SQ Biz tickets to Auckland for Nov 2022 (since appears only destination with availability for 4 SQ BizClass redemptions). So looks good now. Thanks!! Great news!

Sylv

Hmm wonder if this applies to everyone departing from Singapore or just Singapore citizens (like Australia had way back when). I live in Singapore but for sure need a visa to NZ due to my passport…

H Cram

No NZeTA = No leisure travel to NZ. As per NZeTA website:

If you plan to visit New Zealand for a short period, you must request an NZeTA before you travel if you:

  • travel on a passport from a country on the list of visa waiver countries and territories, and
  • are visiting for up to 3 months — or, if you are a British citizen, up to 6 months.
anon

And then there were three left.

Fortress Taiwan, Fortress HK and Fortress Japan

James Quek

It’s a great news indeed, hope don’t need to do SHN when back. How about Japan?

Scott

VTL will exist? Or won’t. Might be a typo

Uthpala

VTL countries , when they can travel ??

Sean

Going down late April so hopefully the SHN requirement is gone by then. Funnily enough in the days before VTL, New Zealand was one of the few places from which one could travel into Singapore without the need for SHN (I did). The NZ government screwed up in 2021 and there was no domestic political appetite for a VTL with anywhere; now Omicron has forced their hand.

Gul

Hi I am Italian permanent resedent can I trevel to NZ without viasa

Andrea

I really hope you are right!
I was so excited and went to book a trip to NZ with my family for May, after I read the reopening news, only to end up realising NZ is not under VTL list by Singapore. 😅

haha now i am stuck with either waiting for NZ to join the VTL list or change my flight destination/ travel dates.

Yang

Omg same situation lol! Hopefully the entire VTL scheme is scrapped by then and Aaron’s sources are to be believed *fingers crossed*

Anonymous

Hi!! Is it possible to transit in Australia and get on a VTL Flight back to singapore? If VTL is still required by then?

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