The government of New Zealand has announced on Wednesday the re-opening of its borders to the world over the coming months, starting with fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residence visa holders in neighboring Australia from January 16, 2022.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the staged re-opening plans are “a new medium-risk pathway.”
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure that risk is carefully managed and it reduces the potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system,” Hipkins added.
Fully vaccinated residents and visa holders from most countries would be allowed to enter New Zealand from February 13, while fully vaccinated tourists from the rest of the world, except those labeled “high risk,” would be allowed from April 30.
Hipkins said the new rules still require everyone coming to New Zealand to isolate at home for seven days, show proof of vaccination, a negative Covid-19 test, and declaration they haven’t been to a high-risk country.
New Zealand shut its borders in March 2020 as part of its zero-COVID strategy and has some of the strictest border measures in the world, effectively banning tourists and requiring returning residents to spend two weeks in a quarantine-hotel run by the military.
Last month, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country would begin to move away from a zero-COVID strategy toward living with the virus.
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