Last updated 3 April 2020
New Zealand is currently at COVID-19 Alert Level 4 which means there are now significant travel restrictions for a minimum four week period. Only essential services will remain open in Queenstown and all visitors and residents must stay put and maintain social distancing practices when they do leave the house or accommodation to get fresh air or for essential services.
Essential businesses such as supermarkets, pharmacies, certain accommodation providers and healthcare will remain open. Public transport may only be used for those working in essential services, for medical reasons and to get to the supermarket. Further limitations to domestic travel also apply with flights, ferries, trains and public transport only available to essential workers and cargo.
Foreign nationals in New Zealand can drive, take private or public land transport, or take domestic flights, in order to connect with commercial or chartered international flights to their home country. Please visit the Air New Zealand website HERE to make a booking.
Queenstown Airport is currently open with the airlines providing essential travel. Do not go to the airport unless you have confirmed travel today and a valid passport. Only travelling passengers will be allowed to enter the area to complete the check-in process. If you are feeling unwell, please don't go to the airport. All passengers are requested to follow physical distancing protocols.
If you are a visitor unable to leave New Zealand and you require assistance, you must contact your embassy, high commission or consular representative. Find information about embassies on the MFAT website HERE.
Note that very few international connections remain available to travellers wishing to leave New Zealand. If you are unable to arrange travel to your home country, you must find accommodation now, for further details on Queenstown accommodation please see HERE.
If you are arriving in New Zealand, you will screened for COVID-19 on arrival and be met by Government officials at the gate. You will be required to explain your plan for self-isolation and transport arrangements to that place. If passengers have no suitable plan in place for self-isolation, they will be placed in local low-level quarantine accommodation, which has been approved for isolation for 14 days
For a full list of essential services that will remain open, please see HERE.
Campgrounds and Hotels/Motels are considered essential services, so are allowed to stay open during alert level 4. Queenstown Lakes District Council has provided guidelines for visiting campers HERE and wider accommodation options can be found at www.qldc.govt.nz/covid-19#accommodation
If a camper is able to fund a modest cost for self-isolation in a commercial campsite they should contact either:
- Queenstown Holiday Park Creeksyde – 03-442 9447 - 54 Robins Road, Queenstown 9300
- Arrowtown Holiday Park – 03-442 1876 - 12 Centennial Avenue, Arrowtown 9302
- Wanaka Lakeview Holiday Park – 03-443 7883 - 212 Brownston Street, Wanaka 9305
- Glendhu Bay Motor Camp – 03-443 7243 - 1127 Wanaka-Mount Aspiring Road
- Qbox - 03-441 1567 - 21 Bowen Street Queenstown
What does self-isolation mean?
Self-isolation is an effective precautionary measure to protect those around you – your fellow travellers and Queenstown’s community– from contracting COVID-19. It means taking simple, common-sense steps to avoid close contact with other people as much as possible. These include:
- Limit your contact with people other than the family members and/or travel companions
- Avoid having visitors to your place of isolation
- It is okay for friends, family or delivery drivers to drop off food and supplies
- You can leave your house or accommodation to access essential services, like buying groceries, or going to a bank or pharmacy. You can also leave your house to go for a walk, or exercise and enjoy nature however this must be within your neighbourhood, you cannot drive to a location and then take a walk.
If you do leave your house, it can only be with those who you are self isolating with and you must keep a 2 metre distance from other people at all times. Police may be monitoring people and asking questions of people who were out and about during the lockdown to check what they were doing.
If you are in accommodation where the others who live with you haven’t travelled or been in close contact with a confirmed case of COVID-19, you should:
- Minimise close contact with them by avoiding situations where you have face-to-face contact closer than 2 metres for more than 15 minutes.
- Do not share dishes, drinking glasses, cups, eating utensils, towels, pillows or other items with other people in your home. After using these items, you should wash them thoroughly with soap and water, place them in the dishwasher for cleaning or wash them in your washing machine.
During the four-week lock down period, it is important to do some daily exercise for our physical and mental wellbeing. Queenstown has a number of walking and biking tracks which are easily accessible however track users must still maintain sensible physical distancing. Please adhere to the following guidelines set out by the Queenstown Trails Trust:
- Stay local, stick to easy grade trails in your neighbourhood. Please do not: drive to trail heads, use single tracks or backcountry trails.
- Ride or walk within your family 'bubble' only. Do not mix family groups or meet with friends for a walk.
- On loop trails, please give maximum space to those coming in the opposite direction (minimum 2m distance)
- Where possible please refrain from touching fencing, bridges, or any other infrastructure. Use gloves if necessary and hand wash or sanitise.
- Please respect all facility closures, including any public toilets, water fountains and playgrounds.
- Please keep dogs on a lead at all times and don’t use headphones.
- Cyclists must give way to pedestrians.
The Department of Conservation has also closed all huts, car parks and campsites until further notice and asks that no one uses them.
For further information and the latest advice on COVID-19 in New Zealand, visit https://covid19.govt.nz/