After more than two years of severe Covid restrictions, New Zealand has moved forward with plans to reopen its borders to overseas travelers.
From 13th April, Australians will be able to enter the country without having to be quarantined or isolated.
Fully vaccinated visitors from approximately 60 countries on a visa-waiver list, including the United Kingdom, will be permitted to visit on 2nd May, rather than July as previously intended.
All overseas incoming visitors to New Zealand will be required to provide a negative Covid test prior to departure.
As the virus spread, New Zealand closed its borders in March 2020.
Except for a brief travel bubble with Australia, they have remained closed.
Only New Zealand nationals are currently permitted to enter and exit the country.
On 2nd May, people who already hold a visa but are not on the visa waiver list will be able to enter the country.
According to a statement from the New Zealand government, “Closing our border was one of the first actions we took to stop Covid-19 two years ago. It did the job we needed. But now that we are highly vaccinated and predicted to be off our Omicron peak, it is now safe to open up.
“Reopening in time for the upcoming Australian school holidays will help spur our economic recovery in the short term and is good news for the winter ski season.
“Trans-Tasman travellers have historically made up 40% of our international arrivals, with around 1.5 million Australians visiting each year.
“While we know it will take some time to see tourism scale up again, today’s announcement will be a welcome boost for our tourism operators who have done it harder than many over the last two years.
“New Zealand is a country which is able to provide a safe place for tourists to return to due to our strong health response to Covid-19.
“An earlier reopening for tourism, and the air travel that brings, also increases capacity for our exports, helping to lower freight rates and the flow-on costs of goods that stems from that.
“We know that traveller numbers will be below pre-Covid levels for awhile and tourism globally will take time to rebound, but today’s announcement means we are ready to go, so welcome back.”
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