Updated: 3 December 2021

From 3 December Aotea Great Barrier Island’s borders are open to Aucklanders and from 15 December 2021 will be open to all NZ travellers that are double vaccinated OR return a negative COVID test within 72 hours of travel to the island.  

The Auckland region, including Aotea Great Barrier Island, is operating under the Covid Protection Framework (Traffic Light System) from 3 December 2021

The island has not yet had any confirmed cases, and the local Emergency Response Team have worked hard to protect our vulnerable community. We have a high proportion of at risk residents and there are no hospital facilities on the island. 

To ensure an enjoyable summer for all, we need your help to protect the health of everyone on the island and to keep our services, infrastructure and businesses running.

Please ensure you use the COVID-19 tracer app or ensure you sign in and keep a record of your movements and wear a mask when out and about. 

Latest business rules and opening times

Frequently Asked Questions

Barrier Air vaccination policy 


  • Proof you are fully vaccinated against Covid-19. Passengers can show proof from the New Zealand Government’s My Vaccine Pass when it is available and can be presented digitally or as a hard copy. 
  • Or a negative Covid-19 test result, taken within 72 hours of your departing flight. This can be in the form of a text message that complies to the accepted form, or a letter from the Ministry of Health.

All customers over 14 years old must provide either a negative test or proof of vaccine.

Sealink vaccination policy 

  • Please read the policy in full on the website, it includes: ‘To the extent that our services are public transport services, we will be making provisions within our operations to accept both vaccinated and unvaccinated passengers as required by the Order…’

What if I’m travelling by private plane or boat?

The island community asks that you be responsible and apply the same rules as if you were travelling with Barrier Air or Sealink.

Please remember you must NOT travel to the island if you have any symptoms of COVID-19, regardless of whether you are fully vaccinated or returned a negative test. 

Can I rent a car?

Yes, you can rent a car. You will need to talk to the individual car rental business to determine (contactless) pick up/drop off and anything else relevant during your stay

Will the shuttle and passenger transfers still run?

Shuttle drivers will be in operation this summer. Again, each individual business will tell you their vaccination status, policies and procedures around using their service. You will no doubt find that shared services will be less frequent if not non-existent so you should book early to ensure you can get to your destination. 

For example, some shuttle services may take less passengers in order to safely socially distance the driver from the passengers, therefore you may have to book two cars for a group. 

The island will be operating under the traffic light system. Each business will have its own COVID-19 policies and will communicate this to customers. This will also be dependent on what level of the traffic light system we are in as determined by the government. 

We highly recommend checking out specific policies on the websites or facebook pages of these establishments for up to date information. 

Many places, regardless of COVID-19 restrictions, get very busy over summer and require you to call ahead and book in, we absolutely recommend doing this to avoid disappointment. 

Most of our eating establishments will offer a take-out option. Consider enjoying a gourmet takeaway in the setting of your accommodation or on the beach, instead of visiting the premises of the businesses. 

  • Call Aotea Health on 09 4290 356 for advice regarding testing.
  • Inform your accommodation provider immediately, especially if you are in shared facilities. 
  • Isolate all people in your party.
  • Follow the advice of the health service and the government guidelines for isolating in the community – ‘Care in the community’
  • Meanwhile, you should all isolate in the group but seperate the infected individual from the rest of the group
  • Many of the shops and eateries offer take away/contactless service so there should be no reason why you have to be out in the community. 
  • You will need to follow advice from the health service regarding your party leaving the island.

Department of Conservation up to date rules can be found here.

To use DOC huts and campgrounds you will be required to have a vaccine pass.


General guidelines and suggestions

  • Recheck the guidance. Check government guidance immediately before you travel and read all of the advice from your travel and accommodation providers.
  • Plan your journey. Plan each stage of your journey and stay on Great Barrier.
  • Face coverings. Pack sufficient face coverings for the duration of your stay. 
  • Individual businesses will 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. Bring hand sanitiser with you 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.
  • Have a plan for if you or anyone within your travel party develops symptoms and then tests positive for COVID-19
  • Use the COVID-19 app to scan QR code posters wherever possible. 
  • Comply with the rules in place in each business you visit. 
  • Use contactless payment where possible.

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