New Zealand says it was planning to keep borders closed to most international travelers until April 30
November 25, 2021: -On Wednesday, New Zealand will keep its borders closed to most international travelers for a further five months, the government said, outlining a cautious easing of border curbs that have been in place since Covid-19 hit in March 2020.
Along with its geographic isolation, the South Pacific country enforced some of the tightest pandemic restrictions among OECD nations, which limits the spread of Covid-19 and helps its economy bounce back faster than many of its peers.
But an outbreak of the contagious delta variant earlier this year has forced a shift in strategy, with the central city of Auckland now only gradually opening up as vaccination rates climb.
Fully vaccinated international travelers will be allowed to enter the country from April 30, 2022, onwards, with the re-opening staged over time, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told a news conference.
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Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in neighboring Australia can travel to New Zealand from January 16, while vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders most from other countries will be allowed in from February 13.
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed,” Hipkins said.
“This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.”
Travelers will no longer be required to stay at state quarantine facilities, he said. Still, other measures will be put in place, including a negative pre-departure test, proof of being fully vaccinated, and a Covid-19 test on arrival.
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