For two years, anyone hoping to visit New Zealand will likely have been disappointed, with the pandemic keeping their borders shut since March 2020. But from this month, a phased five-stage reopening of the borders will begin allowing both New Zealanders and foreign travellers back into the country.
This approach reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins stated.
New Zealand border reopening timeline:
On February 27, fully vaccinated New Zealanders in Australia will be permitted to travel home without a two-week quarantine in an MIQ Hotel. Similarly, New Zealanders, including citizens and permanent residents, based in other countries globally are permitted to enter from March 13.
However, people returning to New Zealand must be vaccinated to avoid isolation at MIQ facilities. Likewise, all travellers will need to restrict their movements for 10 days upon arrival.
From April 12, international students and visa holders alike can enter New Zealand. By July, the government plans to welcome back all non-citizens worldwide – including Brits – eager to travel around New Zealand. Excitingly, the border should be fully reopened by October 2022.
Presently, permanent residents of New Zealand are allowed to enter and must stay in a limited-space, government-made quarantine hotel (MIQ) for seven days. The country has a 96% second dose vaccination rate, which is one of the highest in the world.
COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in early December 2019. Since then, it has spread across the globe, infecting over 385 million people, 5.8 million deaths as of February 3, 2022.