Reciprocal agreements are sought because foreigners are now allowed to transit through NZ airports | Instant News


New Zealand will now allow foreign nationals to transit through the airport here if they need to go home.

Photo: AFP

They are looking for similar agreements with a number of countries to allow New Zealanders overseas to do the same.

Foreign Minister Winston Peters said there were still millions of people stranded across the world and the government continued to work to bring them home.

“Therefore, the Cabinet agreed yesterday that New Zealand would seek mutual transit arrangements with a number of countries to enable our citizens to transit each other at their respective airports,” he said.

New Zealand has received a number of requests from other countries to transit through Auckland, so people can be evacuated, or flown home, including from Pacific countries.

New Zealand will allow foreigners to transit but under strict rules, Peters said.

Transit Rules:

  • They must remain in the air
  • They cannot enter New Zealand;
  • They must have a maximum window of 10 hours to leave for the next flight
  • There are no symptoms of Covid-19, no contact with suspected or confirmed cases and no waiting for test results
  • They must have confirmation from the airline that they will be allowed to board for their entire trip – as well as confirmation before boarding that their destination will allow arrival.

New Zealand airports are closed for passenger transit, with the exception of Australians, on 25 March.

This decision “opens up the potential for transit by foreign nationals, in a carefully managed manner,” Peters said.

Speaking at a press conference this afternoon, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country would maintain strict criteria, “which include that every passenger who transits remains on the air side”.

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