Travel and accommodation
Public transport can continue to operate with strict health and safety requirements.
At Alert Level 1, there is still a risk of COVID-19 returning to the community. To help keep you and others safe masks now need to be worn:
- on all public transport
- on domestic flights throughout the country
- by taxi and ride-share drivers — while it’s not compulsory for passengers to wear them, they are strongly encouraged to do so.
There are a few exemptions. Check Unite against COVID-19 for further details:
Wear a face covering(external link) — Unite against COVID-19
Where ever you go keep track of where you've been and who you've seen.
The Ministry of Health has created a tracing app - NZ COVID Tracer. The app helps you to create a digital diary of where you have been.
- scan the official QR codes at businesses
- add manual entries for places you have been.
NZ COVID Tracer app(external link) — Ministry of Health
Remedies available under the Consumer Guarantees Act (CGA) may be limited at this time.
If your travel plans have been affected, get in touch with the provider to see what options are available. As COVID-19 is a major unexpected event, usual services may not be possible.
Businesses still need to meet their obligations under the Consumer Guarantees Act, but it may be reasonable for a refund to take longer to process under this alert level.
If your travel involves bookings, follow health and safety instructions from the transport operator. Do not travel if you are required to self-isolate, quarantine or have COVID-19 symptoms. Border restrictions remain in place and international travel is still limited.
Leaving New Zealand(external link) — Unite against COVID-19
For travel restriction information at the current alert level:
Current Alert Level(external link) — Unite against COVID-19
For bookings affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, your rights to cancellation will be determined by the terms and conditions of the ticket or booking.
If you booked directly with an airline, ferry company or other travel provider, start by checking for emails about cancellations and your options. Also look on their website. Most travel businesses and accommodation providers have information about COVID-19 cancellations on their homepage.
If you phone, expect a wait before your call is answered — businesses are getting many more calls than usual. If you booked through a travel agent or booking service, contact them about cancellations and your options. Remember to be sympathetic and consider their situation as well as your own.
When consumer rights may be limited
In some situations, businesses do not have to give refunds or other remedies:
'Frustrated contract' v 'force majeure'
If you want to cancel a future domestic booking for when travel may be possible, eg outside of a restricted period, check the businesses’ cancellation terms.
General information on your consumer rights:
Flights, cancellations and delays