The government of New Zealand has lifted restrictions on transit to assist coronavirus repatriation efforts.
Like many countries, New Zealand has been placed on lockdown to limit the spread of the Covid-19 infection.
However, the Foreign Office (FCO) confirmed on Thursday (2 April) the country’s domestic travel ban has been lifted for foreign nationals seeking to leave the country.
Britons in New Zealand, though, are advised to leave as soon as possible, or otherwise find somewhere “to stay put” while restrictions on inbound and outbound travel remain.
“On 2 April, the New Zealand government announced foreign nationals in New Zealand can now use public or private transport to travel to the airport in order to connect with international flights to their home country,” said the FCO.
“Domestic travel must only be undertaken for the purpose of reaching the airport, and foreign nationals must have a ticket for an outbound international flight before leaving their location.”
The FCO added: “Those who want to return to the UK soon should take account of the fast-moving situation and plan accordingly. However, flight availability is extremely limited.
“If you have, or can find, somewhere to stay in New Zealand, you may wish to consider staying put for the period of New Zealand’s lockdown.”
Routes available to British nationals include flying with Malaysia Airlines via Kuala Lumpur; with Qatar Airways via Doha; and with Air New Zealand or Virgin Atlantic via Los Angeles.
Britons in New Zealand are urged to register their details with the British High Commission to receive updates on the country’s lockdown and any further flights that become available, and frequently check the FCO’s latest advice.
The FCO on Monday (30 March) announced a major repatriation effort in partnership with several British airlines, which could run to £75 million in coverage for special charter flights.
However, it is unclear at this stage whether it will extend to bringing home any remaining British nationals who find themselves unable to leave New Zealand via commercial means.