Announcement from the Minister of Health regarding travel restrictions

You will have seen the announcement today from the Minister of Health extending the temporary travel restrictions as coronavirus precaution.

Today from the Minister of Health extending the temporary travel restrictions on people travelling from, or transiting through, mainland China for a further 8 day period.

Keep updated on the status of Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) on the Ministry of Health website:

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) information – Ministry of Health(external link)

Many schools and tertiary providers will now be welcoming back students who have undertaken a 14-day stay away period.  

We have added information on our website for education providers to support the wellbeing of students, staff and communities.

Novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and wellbeing


We know that you and your staff have already considered how you can best support students not able to get to New Zealand.  We encourage you to keep connected with your students who are overseas and provide them with distance learning opportunities.

For schools who do have domestic students currently unable to return to New Zealand, a new Te Kura gateway - Emergency: Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) -  will be available from Monday 17 February.

This will allow domestic students to access government-funded dual tuition at Te Aho o Te Kura Pounamu. If you wish to seek Te Kura’s help to deliver education to international students then this is possible through Te Kura’s fee-paying gateway. You can find more information on our website. 

Novel coronavirus: Information for Principals and Tumuaki(external link)

For schools concerned about their March roll return, please refer to information on our website. 

Novel coronavirus: Information for Principals and Tumuaki(external link) 


To support tertiary students, education agencies and providers are looking to use blended delivery options where possible to ensure disruption to students’ learning is minimised. If you’re a student impacted by the travel restrictions and want to know about how to stay engaged in your studies, please contact your education provider. If you’re a provider wanting to discuss blended delivery options, please contact NZQA for more information. 

For international students, Immigration New Zealand has announced an extension to the ‘first entry before’ date on student visas for those unable to arrive in New Zealand due to travel restrictions. Please refer to the New Zealand Immigration website for visa information. 

Immigration New Zealand Coronavirus Update(external link)

All children and students

We know that a lot is being done across early learning, schools, kura and tertiary to support students affected by the disruptions.  Thank you to everyone who is doing a great job and making students feel part of our education communities. It’s disappointing to hear of some instances of unwelcoming behaviour.  All children and students need to be respected and treated fairly. 

Please contact the Human Rights Commission should you need further support. Contact details are below. 

Note: The announcement today by the Minister of Health has been made based on the latest scientific and medical advice provided by relevant experts.  They have advised that the risk to public health in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands warrants an extension of the current border measures. 

Health officials review border measures against broader public health criteria every 48 hours. Health officials will provide immediate advice should any information emerge that has a substantial impact on the border measures.  

The Ministry of Health has reiterated that these travel restrictions only apply to people travelling through mainland China in the last 14 days. There is no requirement for people travelling to New Zealand from places outside mainland China to have a ‘stay away’ period.

This extends the period for travel restrictions only. It does not impact on the 14 day stay away period for those who have recently arrived in New Zealand from China, or having transited through China. Those that are required to stay away only need to do so for 14 days following their departure from China, and no longer.

New Zealand Human Rights Commission

If you know someone who has experienced racial discrimination related to coronavirus, the Human Rights Commission offers a free and confidential enquires and complaints service which you can use:

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback