New Zealand sets date to reopen to tourists after nearly two years

world
New Zealand Sets Date To Reopen To Tourists After Nearly Two Years New Zealand Sets Date To Reopen To Tourists After Nearly Two Years
The government is planning to ease border restrictions that have been in place for nearly two years. Photo: Getty Images.
Share this article

Reuters

New Zealand will reopen to most international tourists in five months, the government said on Wednesday, planning an easing of border restrictions that have been in place for nearly two years.

Along with its geographic isolation, the South Pacific country enforced some of the tightest pandemic restrictions among OECD nations, limiting the spread of Covid-19 and helping its economy bounce back faster than many of its peers.

But an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant earlier this year has forced a shift in strategy, with the main city of Auckland now only gradually opening up as vaccination rates climb.

Fully vaccinated international travellers will be allowed to enter the country from April 30th, Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins told a news conference. The travellers will have to self-isolate for seven days on arrival.

Advertisement

A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach

Vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in neighbouring Australia can travel to New Zealand from January 16th, while vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders most from other countries will be allowed in from February 13th.

"A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed," Mr Hipkins said.

"This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system."

Quarantine facilities

Travellers will no longer be required to stay at state quarantine facilities, Mr Hipkins said, but other measures will be put in place including self-isolation, a negative pre-departure test, proof of being fully vaccinated, and a Covid-19 test on arrival.

World
Covid in Europe: Cases break records, Sweden to ro...
Read More

Pressure has been mounting on prime minister Jacinda Ardern to reopen international borders ahead of the Christmas holidays so that expatriate New Zealanders could return home.

Air New Zealand said last week it had cancelled about 1,000 flights to Australia due to border uncertainty.

Many industries have also campaigned to reopen borders more quickly as they struggle to fill job vacancies.

New Zealand has recorded just over 10,000 Covid-19 cases since the pandemic began, and 40 deaths - far fewer than most comparable countries.

Read More

Want us to email you top stories each lunch time?

Download our Apps
© BreakingNews.ie 2021, developed by Square1 and powered by PublisherPlus.com