New Zealand brings forward reopening

Confidence from a high vaccinated and boosted population has spurred the New Zealand government to lift border restrictions earlier than expected, with visitors from visa-waiver countries welcomed into the country from May 1.

Fully vaccinated Australians will be allowed to enter sooner, from April 12, without needing to isolate upon arrival.

New Zealand’s reopening will help to resuscitate the country’s tourism industry; Mount Cook pictured

All travellers must provide negative pre-departure tests and undertake two antigen rapid tests within the first week of arrival.

Earlier in February, the government’s decision was to progressively reopen to Australians by July and to all other tourists by October.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern said at a press conference today that the country is “ready to welcome the world back”.

Covid-19 response minister Chris Hipkins and immigration minister Kris Faafoi stated in a press release that the latest reopening decision was about “gearing up in manageable steps to fully reopen as safely as possible to enable us to live with Covid but not be overwhelmed by it”.

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