At least 8 weeks before your trip, check the latest country-specific health advice from the National Travel Health Network and Centre (NaTHNaC) on the TravelHealthPro website. Each country-specific page has information on vaccine recommendations, any current health risks or outbreaks, and factsheets with information on staying healthy abroad. Guidance is also available from NHS (Scotland) on the FitForTravel website.
General information on travel vaccinations and a travel health checklist is available on the NHS website. You may then wish to contact your health adviser or pharmacy for advice on other preventive measures and managing any pre-existing medical conditions while you’re abroad.
The legal status and regulation of some medicines prescribed or purchased in the UK can be different in other countries. If you’re travelling with prescription or over-the-counter medicine, read this guidance from NaTHNaC on best practice when travelling with medicines. For further information on the legal status of a specific medicine, you’ll need to contact the embassy, high commission or consulate of the country or territory you’re travelling to.
Under a reciprocal health agreement, UK nationals who live in the UK and who are on a short-term visit to New Zealand are eligible for immediately necessary healthcare under the health system on the same terms as citizens of New Zealand. You should show your UK passport when requested.
Despite this reciprocal agreement and the Accident Compensation Commission you should make sure you have adequate travel health insurance and accessible funds to cover the cost of any medical treatment abroad and repatriation.
Medical facilities in the Cook Islands and the islands of Niue and Tokelau are limited. In the event of a medical emergency, evacuation to mainland New Zealand is likely to be the only option for treatment. Make sure your insurance policy covers this eventuality.
Mosquito borne viruses, including dengue, chikungunya and Zika, have been reported in the Cook Islands, Niue and Tokelau (although there have been no reported cases of Zika virus within the last 9 months). You should take suitable steps to avoid being bitten by mosquitoes. The type of mosquito that is able to spread these viruses isn’t normally found on mainland New Zealand.
Research has shown that asthma sufferers may be more at risk of an attack in New Zealand and sufferers should be suitably prepared.
If you need emergency medical assistance during your trip, dial 111 and ask for an ambulance. You should contact your insurance/medical assistance company promptly if you are referred to a medical facility for treatment.