In January 2020, Chinese authorities confirmed a new type of coronavirus which is spreading rapidly. The New Zealand Government has now made the decision that any foreign travellers who have left or transited through mainland China after 2 February 2020 will be refused entry to New Zealand. All travellers currently in transit to New Zealand on 2 February 2020 will be subject to enhanced screening on arrival but, pending clearance, will be granted entry to New Zealand. This measure does not apply to flights to and from Hong Kong at this time.
This decision to refuse entry does not apply to New Zealand citizens, permanent residents and their immediate family, who will still be able to come to New Zealand. Australian citizens and permanent residents are also excluded if they ordinarily reside in New Zealand. The decision to restrict travel will be in place for up to 14 days and will be reviewed every 48 hours.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is working with other government agencies to ensure a whole-of-government approach is being taken to manage this evolving situation. INZ’s Beijing office remains temporarily closed in line with the Chinese Government’s decision to close schools and businesses as part of their ongoing management of coronavirus.
It is likely that there will be some impact on visa processing times as a result of the temporary closure of the Beijing office. However, INZ is committed to minimising the impact on processing times as much as possible.