New Zealand has today shed more light into its plans to reopen its borders to the world. The country has made headlines throughout the pandemic for its tough, no-nonsense approach to the pandemic. The nation shut down its borders almost immediately, before putting into place a series of tough local restrictions that helped to make its low number of Covid-19 cases the envy of most countries in the world, yet attempts to reopen their borders partially were met with mixed success.
As one may expect given the country’s track record throughout the pandemic, New Zealand’s approach to reopening is set to be a measured one – with many travelers still forced to wait a considerable length of time before they can enter. Here’s a closer look at the country’s staggered approach to reopening its borders, plus a recap on some of the restrictions travelers can expect to face once in the country.
New Zealand To Reopen For Tourism
Even for many New Zealanders, the country has been almost impossible to visit throughout the duration of the pandemic, after its Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern put into place strict border policies in an effort to keep those in the country safe. Today however, at long last, a clear road map has been produced that outlines an end to its closed-borders policy and a return to business as usual as far as travel and tourism is concerned.
The country is set to adapt a staggered approach to its reopening. It is as follows:
- From 27th February – Fully vaccinated New Zealanders can travel back to New Zealand quarantine-free from Australia. Unvaccinated travelers must enter managed isolation and quarantine
- From 13th March – New Zealand will welcome home its fully vaccinated citizens from other parts of the world, in addition to some vaccinated skilled workers and travel holiday workers – all of which can arrive quarantine free. Unvaccinated travelers must enter managed isolation and quarantine.
- From 12th April – up to 5,000 fully vaccinated international students will be permitted to enter New Zealand
- From July, New Zealand is expected to open up its border to fully vaccinated non-citizens from countries with a visa-waiver policy, which include the likes of Australia, the USA and the UK
However, those hoping to visit from other countries where visas must be secured prior to entry face a lengthier weight, with the country not opening up to all visa categories until October. Whilst they do not need to quarantine, all fully vaccinated arrivals must self-isolate for a period of 10 days after entering the country – though this is subject to change. They are set to be provided with rapid tests after arrival.
Prime Minister Ardern expressed that the staggered method of reopening “balances inflows of travelers so people can reunite and fill our workforce shortages,” before also adding that it will “ensure our healthcare system can manage an increase in cases”. Ardern then went on to explain that the country’s strategy of dealing with Omicron was to slow the spread, and that the country’s borders are a part of that.
Travelers to New Zealand will also have to adhere to the country’s local Covid-19 restrictions. The country is currently at “red” in its traffic light system, which sees local restrictions at their most severe. Masks must be worn in public spaces, whilst the My Vaccine Pass vaccine certificate must be used for access to bars, restaurants and events.
This article originally appeared on Travel Off Path. For the latest breaking news that will affect your next trip, please visit: Traveloffpath.com
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Disclaimer: Current travel rules and restrictions can change without notice. The decision to travel is ultimately your responsibility. Contact your consulate and/or local authorities to confirm your nationality’s entry and/or any changes to travel requirements before traveling. Travel Off Path does not endorse traveling against government advisories