NZ finally unveils reopening plan

By Steve Jones
Home » NZ finally unveils reopening plan

New Zealand is finally opening its borders to international travellers.

In plans unveiled overnight, the country – which has taken an ultra-cautious approach to Covid – will welcome non-citizens from visa-waiver countries no later than July.

But restrictions for all other nationalities won’t be lifted until October, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

The five-step reopening will begin later this month when mandatory quarantine for fully vaccinated New Zealanders arriving from Australia will end.

Working holiday backpackers will be allowed in from 13 March while up to 5,000 international students will be permitted to enter New Zealand from 12 April.

In July, restrictions will lift for travellers arriving from visa-waiver countries ahead of a full reopening in October.

New Zealand adopted some of the strictest Covid rules in the world. While largely successful in supressing Covid, the approach has been criticised for effectively barring citizens from returning home.

“Opening back up in this managed way balances inflows of travellers so people can reunite and fill our workforce shortages, while also ensuring our healthcare system can manage an increase in cases,” Ms Ardern said.

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