New Zealand is bringing forward the reopening of its borders to international travellers, following over two years of strict restrictions.

Fully vaccinated travellers from Australia will be allowed to enter the country without needing to quarantine from April 13, rather than the previously planned date of July.

From May 2 fully vaccinated travellers from approximately 60 visa-waiver countries, including the UK, US, Germany, Canada, Japan and Singapore, will be permitted entry.

The full reopening of the border is scheduled to take place in October, but Ardern said that this could also be brought forward.

All arrivals will need to present a negative PCR test taken within 48 hours of boarding the flight to New Zealand, or a supervised rapid antigen test/LAMP test taken within 24 hours of departure.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden commented:

“Closing our border was one of the first actions we took to stop Covid-19, over two years ago, and its reopening will spur our economic recovery throughout the remainder of the year.”

She added:

“We’re ready to welcome the world back… We are a safe place to visit and New Zealand will be ready with open arms.”

Ardern noted that tourism directly contributed 5.5 per cent to GDP prior to Covid-19, with a further $11 billion generated indirectly, and accounted for 8 per cent of the country’s national workforce.

Next month will also see the reopening of Malaysia and South Korea to fully vaccinated tourists.