On Friday, March 4, at 11:59 pm, SafeTravel removed their Covid-19 global advisory. Photo / Pexels
On Friday, March 4, at 11:59 pm, SafeTravel removed their Covid-19 global advisory, which recommended Kiwis do not travel overseas.
Now, destinations have been sorted into four different levels depending on their risk.
These levels are important for travellers for three key reasons: they indicate the risk you should expect when visiting, the level of consular assistance you can expect from the New Zealand government while there, and whether you can get travel insurance cover for your trip.
Naturally, since the level of risk can vary across a country, an advisory can cover an entire destination or a specific area within it.
For example, the entirety of Afghanistan is level 4 Do not travel due to a risk of “high and ongoing threat of terrorism and kidnapping of foreigners”. Meanwhile, in Colombia, dozens of departments and cities fall under levels 4, 3 and 2.
Level 4 – Do not travel
There are currently 41 countries that have areas deemed too dangerous to travel to. This usually applies to places where conflict, warfare or ongoing violent civil unrest poses a threat to New Zealanders.
If you’re there, you should get home as soon as possible but cannot expect the New Zealand government to help you do so.
Areas in Russia, Thailand, Egypt, India and Japan are currently level 4, as well as the entirety of Libya and Afghanistan.
Level 3 – Avoid non-essential travel
At Level 3 Safetravel encourages people to “think seriously about your need to travel to these places”.
Similar to level 4, Government assistance will be extremely limited and most insurance policies will not cover costs associated with travel to these destinations.
There are currently 40 countries that are partly or entirely classed as level 3.
Areas in Mexico, Israel, Philippines, Poland, Bangladesh are currently level 4, as well as the entirety of North Korea and Haiti.
Level 2 – Exercise increased caution
This level applies often to areas with higher safety and/or security concerns than one would usually find in New Zealand. SafeTravel advises travellers to “pay close attention to your personal security at all times,” however, you can rely on both travel insurance cover and consular assistance.
Fortunately for travellers, there are 92 destinations that are either entirely or partly considered level 2.
At the time of writing, the list includes the UK and US, Australia, Brazil, Cook Islands, Canada, Fiji, Ireland and Hong Kong.
Dozens of popular European spots such as Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy and Spain are also level 2.
Level 1 – Exercise normal safety and security precautions
There are currently no places MFAT consider as having an “overall safety and security situation” that is similar to New Zealand.
This list is constantly being updated and changed; for a full up-to-date list of advisories and destinations, visit the SafeTravel website.