Industry News

COVID-19 – Advice and support

Supporting the New Zealand tourism industry through COVID-19

Unite for the recovery is the Government website about COVID-19. See your own backyard is the tourism page. 

Our thoughts are with those affected by the pandemic and we are thankful for the efforts of those working to prevent and contain the spread of the virus. 

Discussing Tourism webinars 
TIA is hosting a series of webinars to help support the industry through COVID-19 issues and beyond. Find out more

Jump to: 

Current status

Latest updates

Advice for operators

Managing mental health

Advice for tourism employees

Advice for travellers leaving New Zealand

Advice for travellers to New Zealand


Latest updates

24 November 2021

Phased border reopening plan

The Government has announced a series of dates for when New Zealand will start reopening our borders. Read the full statement from COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins. 

NZ Pass Verifier app to scan and verify My Vaccine Passes now available to download

The NZ Verifier app can be downloaded from the Apple and Google Play app stores. Click here to learn how to use the NZ Pass Verifier, and where to download the App.

For more information about when My Vaccine Pass will be required, see here.

Keeping calm and safe – talking with people who are angry or upset about a vaccination order

You are likely to experience colleagues and members of the public venting their frustrations over the vaccination mandate.

This can be difficult and exhausting, and unfortunately is likely to be something we all experience over the coming weeks.

The first thing to reinforce is that it is reasonable and important that you keep yourself safe and well.

These tips from the Government are designed to help you feel a little more confident and able to maintain your own safety and sense of calm when you are on the receiving end of strong emotions.

These tips for de-escalating a situation may also be useful for you and your team members.

Current status

All regions have moved to the COVID-19 Protection Framework

The following areas are at Red: 

  • Northland
  • Auckland
  • Taupō and Rotorua Lakes districts
  • Kawerau
  • Whakatane
  • Ōpōtiki districts
  • Gisborne district
  • Wairoa district
  • Rangitikei
  • Whanganui and Ruapehu districts 

The rest of the North Island (Waikato, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa and Wellington) is at Orange, as is the entire South Island.

A visual traffic light map with the ability to search for your local setting is available at Unite against COVID-19 ( | Traffic light map.

It is important to note this is an emerging, rapidly evolving situation and that this risk assessment may change as more information on COVID-19 and its epidemiology becomes available. 

This chart shows life at all colours of the traffic light system

Advice for operators

COVID-19 Protection Framework (traffic light system)

Guidelines for accommodation operators (red/orange status)
TIA, in conjunction with other industry associations, has developed supporting guidance for the accommodation sector to operate under the Traffic Light System which comes into effect from Friday 3 December.

CPF guidelines for accommodation providers

Guidelines for tourism activities (red/orange status)
TIA, in conjunction with other industry associations, has developed supporting guidance for the activity sector to operate under the Traffic Light System which comes into effect from Friday 3 December: CPF guidelines for tourism activities.

See also the Guidance for Transport Operators.

Financial support

Resurgence Support Payment
The Resurgence Support Payment is available for businesses affected by the Alert Level change. The Resurgence Support Payment is a payment to help support viable and ongoing business or organisations due to a COVID-19 alert level increase to level 2 or higher. If your business or organisation is facing a reduction in income due to an alert level increase, you may be eligible. Find out more

COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment
The COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment helps businesses to pay their employees who cannot work from home while they wait for a COVID-19 test result. This payment is also available to self-employed people.

Who is eligible for the COVID-19 Short-term Absence Payment, and how to apply.

The COVID-19 Leave Support Scheme is still available for businesses to help pay employees who need to self-isolate for other reasons and cannot work from home.

More financial support options here

QR Codes

It is a requirement for all businesses and services:

  • to display the official government QR code for the NZ COVID Tracer App, and
  • have systems and processes in place to otherwise support contact tracing for people who do not scan in with the NZ COVID Tracer app (such as a pen-and-paper register or a digital sign-in system).

If you have not already generated an official QR code poster for each of your premises, you will need to get your posters here

Risk assessment advice

How insurance will react to the COVID-19 outbreak will differ for each individual business. If your business has been directly affected by the outbreak please contact your insurance broker for an in-depth review of your policy schedule and wording to qualify if any cover is provided.

TIA’s strategic partner Marsh has provided a report to help businesses manage pandemic and epidemic risk: Outbreaks, Epidemics, and Pandemics: Preparedness and Response Strategies

Tourism Transitions Programme

This programme delivers advice and support for either pivoting a business towards the domestic market, hibernating a firm, or other options.

The programme will complement investment in the Regional Business Partners network.

Businesses interested in finding out more about what support may be available to them, or in registering their interest for support, should visit the Tourism Advisory Support Services page on the Qualmark website.

Managing mental health 

Public discussion of COVID-19 can be distressing and it’s normal to experience symptoms of stress. Help and professional support is available. 

If you feel you are not coping, it is important to talk with a health professional. For support with grief, anxiety, distress or mental wellbeing, you can call or text 1737 – free, anytime, 24 hours a day, seven days a week – to talk with a trained counsellor.  

Online resilience support programme
The psychologists at Umbrella Wellbeing Ltd spotted our request for support for members and have responded with access to their online resilience support programme. TIA members can access this programme through MyTIA

EAP Services
We know times are difficult for many tourism operators right now. Three-quarters of respondents to our last survey were concerned about their personal health and wellbeing. TIA has therefore arranged for EAP Services to provide employee assistance support to our members at a heavily discounted rate.  

Government advice
See the Government's COVID-19 page for more advice on managing mental health.

Addiction support during COVID-19 (UK site)
If you’re recovering or suffering from substance abuse disorders, it’s crucial that you continue treatment despite the coronavirus outbreak. This UK-based site has some excellent advice for those who struggle with mental health and addiction.  

Advice for travellers leaving New Zealand 

New Zealanders should not attempt to travel overseas at this time.

If you do travel or are thinking about future travel, check out this resource: 

Advice for tourism employees

Go with Tourism 
Go with Tourism is an initiative developed by Auckland Tourism, Events and Economic Development, in conjunction with TIA and the Tourism Industry NZ Trust, to build New Zealand’s tourism workforce. 

Through one-on-one interactions, an online Knowledge Hub and curated innovation sessions, Go with Tourism aims to assist with redeploying displaced tourism workers and providing guidance to businesses in need of advice.

Assistance is available via and a member of staff will be in touch within two working days to offer personalised support.

The platform will also be a one-stop-shop for those wanting to upskill themselves, with free courses available online and options to explore educational pathways.

Advice for travellers to New Zealand 

Most foreign travellers can no longer enter New Zealand. 

Healthline has set up a dedicated 0800 number specifically for health-related calls about COVID-19.

  • The number is 0800 358 5453
  • Or for international SIMs +64 9 358 5453
  • People calling that line will be able to talk with a member of the National Telehealth Service and interpreters will be on hand. The number is staffed by nurses, paramedics and health advisors.

If you have flu-like symptoms please call Healthline immediately.


What should I do about cancellations?

How each business deals with cancellations is their own individual commercial decision to make. There are no easy answers - we have seen a variety of responses across the industry so far, with people balancing their current needs with a longer-term view of securing good relationships for the future when things ease up again. Refer to your terms and conditions and do what you need to do or what you can.

The Commerce Commission has released some guidance for businesses and consumers on consumers’ rights and businesses’ obligations for cancelled services and events

We have a force majeure clause in our agreements, can we use it now?

Yes, however, it depends on the wording. Lane Neave suggests seeking advice before looking to invoke one of these clauses.