New Zealand plans to reopen to tourists after 2 years
International travel is set to resume in April 2022.
After almost two years with its borders closed, New Zealand has revealed plans to finally open to tourists, BBC News reports.
In April 2022, the country will welcome tourists once again as it continues with a cautious reopening of the country generally.
At a press conference yesterday, New Zealand's Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins outlined the plan, which will allow fully vaccinated tourists to enter the country in five months time. However, on arrival, they will have to self-isolate for seven days, though not in quarantine facilities as was previously the case for all new arrivals.
They will also need to produce a negative pre-departure Covid-19 test, and they will have to test again once they land.
Mr Hipkins said: "A phased approach to reopening 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."
Prior to the arrival of international tourists in April, vaccinated New Zealand residence holders in Australia will be allowed to enter the country from 16 January, while residence holders from other countries will be allowed to enter from 13 February.
At the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand closed its borders and enforced a strict lockdown. These measures, combined with the country's geographic position, allowed it to keep infection and death rates low, and subsequently reopen sooner than the rest of the world.
Earlier this year, however, the country saw an outbreak of the Delta variant which led to numerous lockdowns in New Zealand's main cities.
Just a few months ago, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country would be abandoning its zero Covid policy.
At a press conference she said: "Elimination was important because we didn’t have vaccines. Now we do, so we can begin to change the way we do things. We have more options, and there’s good cause for us to feel optimistic about the future, but we cannot rush.
"That’s why we need to continue to contain and control the virus as much as possible, while we make our transition from a place where we only use heavy restrictions to a place where we use vaccines in everyday public health measures."