Travel to Australia, New Zealand, and the South Pacific: A Reopening Timeline

Aerials Of Wellington As NZ Coronavirus Lockdown Restrictions Move To Level 2
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The largest countries of Oceania were incredibly successful in controlling and virtually eliminating the threat of the novel coronavirus and both New Zealand and Australia are working tirelessly to keep community infection rates down to zero. Although many smaller remote island nations were able to remain virus-free for a considerable time, cases have been reported in Vanuatu, the Marshall Islands, and the Solomon Islands.

Here’s what you need to know about current border regulations in Oceania.

Australia

Australia has banned international entry (likely until 2022) for all non-citizens and non-residents, including U.S. citizens unless they qualify for an exemption. There are also measures in place to limit the spread of the virus across borders in Australia and everyone traveling across territory lines may be required to partake in a 14-day government-mandated quarantine at their own expense.

In May, Australia announced it would not permit travelers arriving from India, even if they are Australian citizens or residents. There is a hefty fine and chance of jail time for those who attempt to return.

New Zealand

The New Zealand government is now allowing travelers from Australia, the Cook Islands, and Niue to enter without quarantine. Other travelers, including essential health workers and partners of New Zealand citizens and residents, must be granted permission to enter, will need to be tested before they leave, and must undergo a 14-day quarantine at a managed isolation facility.

Pacific Islands 

French Polynesia's borders are open and non-vaccinated and non-immunized travelers will be tested on arrival required to quarantine for 10 days, regardless of test results. This country was the first Pacific nation to open its borders in July of 2020 while others still restrict U.S. citizens from entering or requiring at least a 14-day self-quarantine, regardless of vaccination status. Fiji, Kiribati, New Caledonia, Tonga, and Tuvalu prohibit Americans from entering, but Nauru will allow U.S. citizens if they have spent 14 days before their trip in either Australia, Fiji, or New Zealand.

Article Sources
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  1. U.S. Embassy & Consulates in Australia. "COVID-19 Information." July 7, 2021.

  2. New Zealand Immigration. “COVID-19: Key updates.” July 15, 2021.

  3. U.S. Embassy in Fiji, Kiribati, Nauru, Tonga, and Tuvalu. "COVID-19 Information."

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