Chatham Islands Covid-19 General Advice

The Chatham Islands are open to all NZ travellers and like the rest of New Zealand, we are now out of the Traffic Light System.

However, as the Chathams are isolated and unique in New Zealand, the local health team is determined to protect our vulnerable community – as well as ensure the health and safety of visitors. We have a high proportion of at-risk residents on the islands and there are very limited hospital facilities available

To ensure that we all enjoy these magical islands, we need your help to protect the health of everyone and to keep our services, infrastructure and businesses running.


We still advise visitors to wear masks indoors wherever possible, including on transport and where there are groups of people present.

Whilst not mandatory we’d still love to see their use in retail premises and restaurants and cafes when not seated.

In general, try and practice distancing where possible and avoid prolonged exposure to others. Although Covid-19 is still prevalent, other seasonal illnesses such as flu and respiratory illnesses are more widespread, so it makes sense to follow guidelines and advice where you can, including hand hygiene.

Air Chathams

There are no requirements for masks or vaccination against Covid-19 for travel with Air Chathams.

Plan Ahead

The Government’s Covid-19 travel advice is to make contingency plans should you or one of your party have to self-isolate.

Have a read through the guidance [] yourself to make sure that you are as well prepared as possible if you or one of your group gets Covid-19 while you are away from home.

It is advised to budget for an extended stay. This is the case for all visitors coming to the Chathams.

If you experience Covid-19 symptoms whilst you are on the islands, get tested immediately and you will have to isolate in your accommodation for 7 days.

Covid be kind poster

Covid-19 and Travel to the Chathams FAQs

Although there are currently no rules around vaccinations or pre-departure tests, we do ask please not to travel to the islands if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of whether you are fully vaccinated or returned a negative test.

The general rule is still to wear masks in retail premises, and we request that you wear one when non-seated at restaurants

However, each business will have its own COVID-19 policies and will communicate these to customers. The specifics will be dependent on what level of the traffic light system we are in as determined by the government. We are currently in ORANGE level.

We highly recommend checking out specific policies on the websites or Facebook pages of each of the businesses / establishments for up-to-date information.

Please follow all the local rules and protocols and respect their right to operate as they deem appropriate within the law.

Call the Chathams emergency line 09-305-0035 and ask for advice regarding testing.

Inform your accommodation provider immediately, especially if you are in shared facilities.

Follow the advice from the local health centre and the government guidelines for isolating in the community – Care in the community –

You will need to follow advice from the local health centre regarding how/when your party can leave the islands.


  • You need to know this stuff: Re-check the government guidance immediately before you travel and get advice from your travel and accommodation providers.
  • Plan your journey. Plan each stage of your journey and stay on the Chathams. Know where you are going and who you are staying with.
  • Masks: Masks still offer some of the best protection against Covid-19 – for you and others – as well as against other seasonal illnesses, such as flu and RSV. So, bring enough to last you for your entire stay. 
  • Individual businesses may have their own coronavirus policy. Please look out for these policies and observe the rules in place for each island premises you enter. 
  • Hand sanitiser. Yes, even on the Chathams. Bring your own personal supply with you as well so you always have access to it. Where there are hand sanitiser stations available, please use them. 
  • Medicine. Bring at least 10 extra days’ worth of any medication or medical supplies you rely on, in case you are required to self-isolate on the island. That includes over the counter medicines like Panadol, throat lozenges, sanitising wipes etc.
  • Prepare a plan for if you develop symptoms and then test positive for COVID-19
  • Comply with the rules in place in each business you visit. If you don’t think you can, don’t come.
  • Use contactless payment where possible.