By the time you read this the New Zealand government’s new border restrictions have taken effect.
From 1am Monday, 16 March 2020 everyone arriving in New Zealand from anywhere (other than some Pacific Islands) must self-isolate for 14 days. This includes NZ citizens and residents.
The Prime Minister’s full statement is available at https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/major-steps-taken-protect-new-zealanders-covid-19
The border is NOT closed (except for people travelling direct from mainland China or Iran or onboard a cruise ship).
If you are in recruitment mode and considering employing people from offshore, they can still apply for and secure work visas. You should have a plan in place to help them self-isolate for 14 days on arrival before they can start work (consider whether they can work remotely post arrival while in quarantine and any accommodation arrangements will cater for self isolation).
Staff on your team holding work visas may have questions or concerns particularly if they are waiting for family to join them in New Zealand. We hope these tips help you and your team get through these unprecedented times. Malcolm Pacific Immigration is ready to help answer any questions; just call us on 0800 800 612 or use our contact page at https://www.malcolmpacific.com/contact-us
Tips for employers
Follow official advice from the Ministry of Health – go to https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus
Visa applications are being processed but expect delays.
Anyone holding a work visa should apply for renewal 3 months before the current visa expires.
Family of workers can still travel to NZ provided they meet normal visa requirements. They will need to self-isolate for 14 days post arrival.
Do you have any staff overseas right now on business or holiday? Get in touch to discuss plans for self-isolation; working remotely and returning to the workplace.
Check out employer responsibilities at https://www.employment.govt.nz/about/news-and-updates/workplace-response-coronavirus-covid-19/
Defer any non-essential international travel.
Before starting a journey to New Zealand make sure you can still board flights and transit through countries along the way. Other governments may have different rules, and these may change quickly (e.g. a country may require self-isolation even when transiting). Airlines are reducing the number of flights globally so capacity to book flights may become tight.
Anyone holding a New Zealand visa but has not yet arrived, can still travel provided the visa is valid (self-isolation rules apply). If the “must arrive before” date on the visa is going to expire before arrival contact us now for advice.
Encourage everyone to be kind – some people will be stressed by these events.