On Wednesday, in a statement New Zealand said, it will continue to keep its borders closed to most international travellers for five more months.
New Zealand’s geographic isolation, along with some of the strictest pandemic rules among OECD nations, has limited the spread of COVID-19 and helped its economy bounce back faster than many of its peers.
Despite these measures, the outbreak of the highly contagious COVID-19 Delta variant has forced it to change strategy. With vaccination rates climbing, New Zealand is gradually opening its main city – Auckland.
From April 30, 2022 onwards, New Zealand will allow fully vaccinated international travellers to enter the country, said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins at a news conference.
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders from Australia can travel to the country from January 16, while vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders from other countries will be allowed entry from February 13, 2022.
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed,” said Hipkins. “This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.”
He went on to add, travelers will no longer be required to stay at state quarantine facilities. Although other measures will be put in place including a negative pre-departure test, proof of being fully vaccinated, and a COVID-19 test on arrival.
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