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When will NZ borders open to Australia?

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When will NZ borders open to Australia? For most people, travel to New Zealand has been completely closed. Anyone who has had to travel to or between Australia and New Zealand in recent months will know that strict protocols on Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) have been mandatory. This has been in place since October 2020, when the NZ government’s Managed Isolation Allocation System was launched. This has involved paying for a two-week stay at a quarantined hotel on arrival and testing negatively for COVID-19 before being able to return home.

What does MIQ stand for?

This stands for Managed Isolation & Quarantine. Anyone entering New Zealand has had to book a place for a 7 day quarantine. This was a full 2 weeks prior to 14th November 2021.

Thankfully, there is now excellent news for Kiwis and Australians looking to live and work in New Zealand in 2022…

nz borders open to australia


From 17th January, there will no longer be the mandatory MIQ for New Zealanders returning home. Instead, fully vaccinated Kiwis will need to complete seven days of home isolation.

If events continue to unfold favourably, the timeline will then look like this:

From 14th February – Vaccinated New Zealanders, visa holding residents will be able to travel to other countries, with the exception of ‘very high risk’ destinations. This means that it will be much easier for New Zealanders to move to

From 30th April – New Zealand is due to open back up for international visitors. This is likely to be based on their visa status and will involve a period of isolation.

Eligible travellers arriving into New Zealand will require the following:

  • A negative pre-departure test
  • Proof of full vaccination
  • Your travel history declaration
  • A final negative Covid test
  • Completion of seven days of home isolation

As a result, from mid-February Australians and New Zealanders will have more opportunities to move for work next year. This is brilliant news for Kiwi healthcare professionals who have been working abroad and have now decided to return home.


What about New Zealanders moving for health care jobs in Australia?

Across the Tasman Sea, New Zealanders looking to enter Australia are faced with state and territory dependent rules. The most common entry requirements include:

  • A Negative PCR test with proof of COVID-19 vaccination OR
  • A Negative PCR test with proof of COVID-19 vaccination + a period of quarantine

Staying safe as we start to open up

It is of course government health advice that a person does not travel if they are feeling unwell. The current guidance on staying safe will be very familiar to all of us, but it is worth stressing the importance of following the below steps strictly if you are preparing to travel:

  • Washing your hands often with soap and water
  • Covering any cough and sneeze, dispose of tissues, then wash your hands
  • Avoid close contact with others and stay more than 1.5 metres from people
  • Follow signs and floor markings within the airport, seaport or hotel.

Whilst travelling, if you become unwell, it’s vital that you:

  • Immediately tell a state or territory health official
  • Remain in your accommodation and isolate yourself from others
  • Keep your surgical mask on. If you don’t have one, cover any cough and sneeze.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water and use alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
  • If you have serious symptoms such as trouble breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance

What to do if you become sick on arrival in Australia or New Zealand?

If you become unwell with symptoms including a fever, sore throat, cough or tiredness, you must:

  • Isolate yourself from others.
  • Visit a COVID-19 GP-led respiratory clinic. (Go to for a clinic near you)

NOTE: The relaxing of border rules is of course subject to change and will be dependent on the risk posed by people entering New Zealand in the early part of 2022. We’d recommend keeping a close eye on the latest information from the NZ government.


Thanks for reading our post with information on the timeline for NZ borders open to Australia. We hope there is cause for optimism for a brighter year next year…

…Are you looking for nursing jobs in Australia or New Zealand?

Do you have any questions about the issues raised in this post? Would you like to speak to a recruitment consultant about the options you have about your future career choices? If so, register your interest in health care and nursing jobs here.

If you’re interested in a fresh nursing challenge, check out our available positions here.