COVID-19 update for Tertiary providers and international students - 2 April

The government has today released its plan to safely repatriate foreign nationals including international students while the country is in lockdown. We understand the past few days have been uncertain for you and the government is working to respond quickly to your needs.

The government has today released its plan to safely repatriate foreign nationals including international students while the country is in lockdown.  We understand the past few days have been uncertain for you and the government is working to respond quickly to your needs.

This update provides advice for international students who want to depart New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights.

  • If you are a student intending to travel, you should speak to your education provider about travel arrangements.  They are working with the government and have all the latest and accurate information.
  • Under Alert Level 4, international students are now able to leave New Zealand on scheduled commercial or foreign-government assisted charter flights.
  • You must have a confirmed booking and a valid international ticket to travel to the airport and depart New Zealand.:
  • To get to an airport, you must be able to:
    • drive in private transport
    • complete a trip on public transport, taxi or uber ride
    • take a single domestic flight (commercial or charted) to either Auckland or Christchurch International Airport.

Educational providers must ensure certain requirements are met under the Code. These include:

  • Clear and timely communication with students and parents about travel. Parents and students should only be consenting to travel with an informed understanding of the relevant risks and the possibility of changing plans.
  • A transfer of care plan for under 18 students that is agreed to in writing (digitally) by the student’s parent or legal guardian.
  • Appropriate and safe supervision for students under 18 to ensure that the wellbeing of the student is maintained during their transfer of care.
  • We have included a check list on the following page to assist you with students under 18.

Students travelling to airports must follow the Alert 4 health and safety advice to protect themselves and others. These measures include ensuring 2 metres distance between people, coughing/sneezing into an elbow, washing and drying hands often.

For more information on other travel criteria, visit Update on domestic travel criteria for foreign nationals returning home

Stay up to date and get more information:

For official Government information about COVID-19 (novel coronavirus), including health advice and travel restrictions visit the All-of-Government website https://www.govt.nz/covid-19-novel-coronavirus/

For health advice, please refer to the Ministry of Health’s website.

https://www.health.govt.nz/our-work/diseases-and-conditions/covid-19-novel-coronavirus


To keep updated on travel restrictions and visa information visit https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/coronavirus-update-inz-response

Checklist for providers with students under 18

 Is the student eligible to travel?

Students must:

  • not have been diagnosed with COVID-19, and if recovered from COVID-19, have medical clearance to travel;
  • not have symptoms consistent with COVID-19;
  • not be awaiting test results for COVID-19;
  • not be a close contact of a suspected/probable/confirmed case of COVID-19; and
  • not have travelled internationally within the last 14 days

Have the student’s parents been provided with the relevant information to support their decision about the flight?

This should include, but is not limited to:

  • Information on the current situation in New Zealand (for example, the link to the COVID-19 website, MoH situation updates etc.)
  • Information on current education and pastoral care arrangements, and ongoing supports available
  • Information on the support the signatory can give to repatriation arrangements (for example, intended approach to transport, supervision, accommodation, transfer of care and communication arrangements, including the possibility that plans may change)
  • Information on insurance coverage (where the insurance was arranged by the signatory)
  • Information on enrolment continuation / deferral processes
  • Information on any refund provisions
  • Information on who to contact for further information (eg Embassy, Immigration New Zealand for visa queries).

Have the parents or guardians of the student confirmed in writing (digitally) that they approve the student travelling back to their home country under these circumstances?

Does the student have a confirmed airline ticket for an outbound international flight?

This may be a commercial flight or a foreign government repatriation flight. Young students may need to be registered as Unaccompanied Minors.

Is there approved, safe transportation and supervision arranged for travel to the airport?

This transport must be agreed with the student’s parents, and meet the requirements of the Alert Level 4 lockdown 

Is there a transfer of care plan in place for the student?

Students should not be left alone without supervision and support. The Transfer of Care plan must ensure that students have appropriate supervision at the airport (for example, airline staff if they’re travelling as an Unaccompanied Minor, or Embassy officials for repatriation flights), and that those supervisors understand their obligations.

Have clear communication protocols been established with the students, their parents, and the other parties involved with the flights and transport within New Zealand?

This includes the requirement to notify parents of any changes in the detail of flights, transit, etc., and emergency contact details should anything go wrong (eg student becomes unwell, misses a connection etc.).

 

 

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