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New Zealand to reopen to international travellers in April 2022

The government of New Zealand has announced that it will reopen the country’s borders to fully vaccinated international travellers in April 2022, after almost 2 years of strict border restrictions.

Starting 30th April 2022, fully vaccinated international travellers will once again be able to enter New Zealand. Visitors will still need to take a pre-departure test, a COVID test upon arrival in the country, and undergo self-isolation for 7 days. The reopening of the country will be done in phases.

To begin with, in phase 1, starting 16th January 2022, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents currently in Australia will be able to return to the country, while New Zealanders in most other countries can return from 13th February 2022 in phase 2.

Finally, phase 3 will see the reopening of the country to fully vaccinated foreign nationals from 30th April 2022, though this may be staged by visa category.

Chris Hipkins, COVID-19 Response Minister, said:

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.

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Since the onset of COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand has taken a zero-covid approach, meaning that its borders are closed for most visitors from around the world. 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 be removed from the Very High-Risk classification in early December 2022, meaning that travellers from these countries will be able to enter New Zealand on the same basis as travellers from most other countries.

Meanwhile, neighbouring country Australia, which also took a zero-covid approach, has already reopened its borders to international travellers.

What do you think of New Zealand’s plans to reopen its borders to international travellers in April 2022? Let me know in the comments section below.

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