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The impact of COVID-19 in New Zealand has made things unpredictable in the domestic travel space, with border restrictions constantly changing. Though New Zealand has dealt with the pandemic relatively well, the New Zealand government encourages all domestic travelers to be cautious. Here, we answer some common questions about domestic travel restrictions and safety regulations based on information available as of May 10, 2021. Read on to learn whether it is safe to travel within New Zealand.
⚠️ Due to the evolving nature of the pandemic situation, safety regulations may change without warning. This article should not be treated as legal advice — we recommend that readers check with local authorities for updates in COVID-19 protocols prior to making travel arrangements.
This article covers information regarding domestic travel within New Zealand. For information on international travel to and from New Zealand, please refer to our resource, The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions.
COVID-19 Alert System
New Zealand operates on a 4-level COVID-19 Alert System. Each level denotes the various health and safety regulations and measures when leaving your house, traveling locally, and traveling regionally.
All of New Zealand currently remains at Alert Level 1. Click here to refer to updates.
NZ COVID Tracer app
How it works
The app uses Bluetooth tracing technology to alert a user if they have been near another app user who has tested position for COVID-19.
When Bluetooth tracing is switched on, the app sends out a private and secure random ID code. Other users who have their Bluetooth tracing switched on will receive this random ID. This random code is used to notify users who have come into close contact or are at risk of exposure to those who have tested positive for COVID-19. Users will receive an alert and advice on what they should do to keep themselves and others safe.
While Bluetooth is enabled, the app assures that location, name, and other personal information will not be shared. Read more about the app here.
Local and regional travel
It is a legal requirement to wear a face mask or face covering on all public transport throughout New Zealand.
Apart from wearing face coverings, the government recommends these tips to minimize risk on public transport:
- Avoid standing or sitting beside someone you do not know.
- Do not take public transport if you are unwell, awaiting test results, or if you need to self-isolate.
Taxi and ride-sharing services
All Auckland taxi and ride-share drivers are required to wear face coverings. While it is not compulsory for passengers on Auckland taxis or ride-shares, it is strongly encouraged to don face coverings.
Please observe the following guidelines when traveling by taxi or ride-share:
- Refrain from traveling when sick. Stay at home.
- Wash your hands before and after traveling.
- Keep a record of which service you traveled with and when.
- Other passengers in your taxi or ride-share should only be people you know (for example, friends and family).
- Minimize the number of stops on the way to your destination.
Walking, cycling, and active transport
Walking, cycling, and other forms of active transport are allowed. Keep a two-meter distance from all pedestrians as an increase in traffic is expected.
Commuting in private vehicles is allowed.
Face coverings must be worn on all domestic flights. Comply with all airline regulations and track your journey as much as possible.
Do not travel if:
- You have a cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms
- You are awaiting a COVID-19 test
- You need to self-isolate
Cook Strait Ferries
Maintain physical distancing and comply with all instructions when on the Cook Strait Ferries.
Leaving your house
At Alert Level 1, you may leave your house or gather with as many people as you like. Keep track of who you come into contact with.
If you are sick:
- Stay at home
- Get tested or contact your doctor if you are experiencing cold, flu, or COVID-19 symptoms
Where can I find more information?
You can find more information related to COVID-19 restrictions on the New Zealand government website.
Know of more protocols that answer the question “is it safe to travel within New Zealand?” Share them with us. Traveling elsewhere? Remember to bookmark our handy resource, The Ultimate Guide to COVID-19 Travel Restrictions, to remain up-to-date with regulations around the world.