New Zealand Announces a Phased Reopening of its Border

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Published on : Monday, February 7, 2022

New Zealand has announced a phased reopening of its border that was closed for two years due to the Covid-19 pandemic; however, travel bodies said self-isolation rules need to be removed forresurrecting the struggling tourism sector.

Vaccinated New Zealanders in Australia can travel home from February 27 without having to stay at state-managed quarantine facilities, while New Zealand citizens in the rest of the world will be able to do so two weeks later, said NZ Prime Minister JacindaArdern.

Foreign vaccinated backpackers and some skilled workers can visit New Zealandfrom March 13, while up to 5,000 international students will be allowed to enter from April 12.

Tourists from Australia and other visa-free countries will only be allowed in by July, while travelers from the rest of the world will be kept out until October under the plan.

All travelers would still have to self-isolate for 10 days, said Ardern.

“Our strategy with Omicron is to slow the spread, and our borders are part of that,” said Ardern. The highly contagious variant of the virus currently surging around the world was recently detected in New Zealand, and case numbers are slowly increasing.

New Zealand has had some of the toughest border controls in the world for the last two years, as the government tried to curb coronavirus.

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