New Zealand is set to reopen its borders to fully vaccinated visitors from April 30, after almost two years of strict border restrictions.
Visitors will still need to take a pre-departure test, a Covid test upon arrival in the country, and undergo self-isolation for seven days. The reopening of the country will occur in phases.
To begin with, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents currently in Australia will be able to return to the country from January 16 onwards, while New Zealanders in most other countries can return from February 13.
The third phase will see the reopening of the country to fully vaccinated foreign nationals from April 30, though this may be staged by visa category.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins commented:
“We are making this announcement today to give families, businesses, visitors and airline and airport companies certainty and time to prepare. It’s very encouraging that as a country we are now in a position to move towards greater normality.
“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.”
As it stands, the country is only open to citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand who must undergo a seven-day isolation in government-managed quarantine hotels.
Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil will also be removed from the Very High-Risk classification in early December, meaning that travellers from these countries will be able to enter New Zealand on the same basis as travellers from most other countries.