Flights from China landing in New Zealand despite coronavirus travel ban

Flights from mainland China are continuing to land at New Zealand airports on the day a ban on all foreign travellers arriving from the country goes into effect.

The Government announced the travel ban on Sunday as part of the fight against the deadly coronavirus outbreak, which has killed over 300 people in China.

Air New Zealand has suspended all flights between Shanghai and Auckland, but three China-based airlines are continuing to fly into New Zealand.

Air China, China Southern and China Eastern all have flights scheduled to land in Auckland and Christchurch on Monday that had not been cancelled at the time of publishing.

Those flights are scheduled as follows:

  • China Southern CZ305, Guangzhou - Auckland, ETA 4:22pm
  • China Eastern MU779, Shanghai - Auckland, ETA 4:25pm
  • China Southern CZ617, Guangzhou - Christchurch, ETA 5:01pm
  • Air China CA783, Beijing - Auckland, ETA 6:58pm

All arrivals into New Zealand will be subject to stricter checks than usual, including the closure of eGates which means Customs will be manually processing every person entering the country.

"We are working with multiple agencies and our airline partners to ensure the precautionary measures the New Zealand Government has introduced are carried out, including enhanced screening for arriving travellers," said Auckland Airport's Anna Cassels-Brown.

"We know delays can cause frustration and we ask for everyone's patience as they move through the international terminal."

The Government confirmed some foreign passengers on the flights arriving from China on Monday would be allowed to enter following the "enhanced screening", before the ban takes full effect.

New Zealand citizens and permanent residents arriving in Aotearoa from China, along with their immediate family members, are exempt from the travel ban - but are required to self-isolate for 14 days after arrival.