Fully vaccinated travellers will be able to visit New Zealand from 30 April next year, but they will still need to self-isolate for seven days.
It will be the first time the country has welcomed tourists since March 2020.
New Zealand entered one of the world’s strictest lockdowns nearly 20 months ago, closing its borders and imposing hotel quarantine on all residents returning home from abroad.
However, it has announced a gradual reopening from January 2022.
From 16 January, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in neighbouring Australia will be able to enter New Zealand.
From 13 February, fully vaccinated residents and visa holders from most other countries will be allowed in.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told media outlets: “A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed.
“This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.”
Under the new rules, travellers will no longer be required to go to a government hotel quarantine facility from 30 April 2022, but they will have to provide proof of vaccination plus a negative pre-departure test and they’ll be tested again on arrival.
They will also have to self-isolate for the first seven days of their trip.
Mr Hipkins said: “We will eventually reach a point where people will be able to move much more freely across the border and those periods of self-isolation won’t be required. We’re not at that point yet.”