Travelling safely through our airport
From 19 April, New Zealanders and Australians can travel between the two countries without having to quarantine on arrival.
Christchurch Airport has created dedicated pathways for the flights known as green (from ‘COVID safe’ countries) and red (all others). We created the pathways to keep you and New Zealand safe at our airport.
As part of our ongoing work with the Ministry of Health, the arrival areas undergo a comprehensive clean in accordance with Ministry standards.
All arriving quarantine-free flights are met by Government agency representatives. A team of health officials will undertake random temperature checks of passengers on all green flights and will also check your answers to health questions you must complete on the Arrivals Card.
For information about quarantine-free travel with Australia, including travel criteria and restrictions, visit the COVID-19 website.
For departing passengers
Do I need to wear a mask at the airport?
We operate in accordance with the Government’s COVID-19 Alert Levels, so you’re not required to wear a mask in the airport terminal, but may prefer to do so. You can buy a range of assorted face coverings from airport retailers.
Do I need to wear a mask on the flight?
In line with Government guidelines, unless you are exempt, you must wear a face covering on every flight. You can choose to wear your own face covering or one provided by your airline. If you’re not sure about wearing a mask on your flight, please ask airline staff when you check in.
How long before my flight do I need to be at the airport?
Please check with the airline you’ve booked to fly with.
What can I expect at the airport?
You’ll notice extra precautions at the border, so please co-operate with requests from staff. Health professionals may be stationed at airports to undertake random temperature checks and health assessments of travellers.
Will the eGates be operating? Will I need to remove my mask?
eGates will operate on all quarantine-free travel zones (currently Australia) and all international departures.
To make sure eGate can accurately match your face with the photo on your passport, you must look as similar to your ePassport photo as possible. You may lower your face mask while the eGate photo is taken, but must put it back in place until you are in the public areas of the terminal.
Do I need a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test?
At the moment, you do not need a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test to travel to Australia on a quarantine-free flight. However changes can occur at short notice, so please check here to get the latest information before you fly.
- Do I need to complete a travel declaration before I enter Australia?
If you are unwell, you should not travel. Stay at home and call Healthline for advice on 0800 611 116. At the airport, your airline will decide whether you will be allowed to board. Make sure you bring evidence of any pre-existing conditions when you check in, to avoid being denied boarding.
What time does the airport terminal open?
The terminal opens at 3am each day.
- Can I buy duty free before my flight departs?
- Where can I eat before my flight?
For arriving passengers
Do I need to wear a mask at Christchurch Airport?
Arriving on a quarantine-free (green) flight
All arriving international passengers on quarantine-free travel must wear a face covering on all flights, while disembarking and within the International Arrivals area (Customs and Biosecurity).
In the public terminal area (after you exit the Biosecurity area), you are not required to wear a mask in the airport terminal but might prefer to do so.
Arriving on a quarantine (red) flight
You must wear a face mask at all times until you are inside your hotel room.
You will use a separate quarantine arrival pathway. It is designed to safely and efficiently process you and your fellow passengers before transfer to a dedicated quarantine hotel, in line with Ministry of Health guidelines.
What can I expect on arrival at Christchurch Airport?
Quarantine-free flights (Green)
All travellers from quarantine-free flights, or ‘green flights’, will be taken through a dedicated zone at the airport. You will be separated from, and have no contact with, anyone arriving from other parts of the world and on their way to managed isolation and quarantine.
Duty Free will be open on the Green pathway.
Signs will direct you to Customs and bag claim. You’ll also see health professionals stationed around the airport to make random health assessments of arriving travellers.
Airport staff will give you printed information to help you stay safe from COVID-19 while you’re in New Zealand, what to do if you feel unwell, or if there are community cases of COVID-19 during your stay. You can also pick up an NZ COVID Tracer booklet to help you keep track of where you’ve been.
Download the NZ COVID Tracer app here.
Quarantine flights (Red)
All travellers on ‘red flights’ and on their way to quarantine will be taken through a dedicated pathway at the airport.
Each flight is handled in isolation, with Ministry of Health approved cleaning regimes after each flight.
This dedicated process is designed especially and only for passengers on their way to managed isolation and quarantine.
For more information on the managed isolation process, visit the COVID-19 website.
Will eGates be operating?
eGates will operate on all quarantine-free travel zones (green flights), but not on quarantine flights (red flights).
However Customs may suspend the eGates at any time and conduct manual processes for your flight.
An eGate uses biometrics to match the picture of your face in your ePassport with the picture it takes of you at the gate. To make sure eGate can accurately match your face with the photo on your passport, you must look as similar to your ePassport photo as possible. You may lower your face mask while the eGate photo is taken, but must put it back in place until you are in the public areas of the terminal. Hand sanitiser stations are available at Customs for you to use after you touch your mask.
What if I have something to declare?
New Zealand’s biosecurity checks at the border will include all your baggage being X-rayed. You’ll need to declare or dispose of any goods that could carry pests or diseases. If in doubt, please declare it!
Can I buy duty free when I arrive?
Aelia Duty Free will be open to all arriving passengers on quarantine-free (green) flights.
Duty free is not available to arriving quarantine (red) flights.
How do I stay safe while I’m in New Zealand?
It is important to practise good hygiene and keep track of where you’ve been. For information about the NZ COVID Tracer app and scanning QR codes visit the COVID-19 website.