After more than two years of some of the world’s strictest travel restrictions, New Zealand’s government has set a timetable for the country to fully reopen to international travel.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on May 11, 2022 that New Zealand will restore full international travel by July 31, 2022.
Ardern said in an official statement on the New Zealand Government website that entry restrictions for both air and marine travel will be lifted, allowing cruise ships to return to local ports.
New Zealand’s government had planned to fully reopen international borders in early October 2022, ending the country’s tight pandemic restrictions two months earlier than expected.
The deadline was pushed ahead since the country has had the lowest rates of COVID-19 virus infection and death since the pandemic began in March 2020.
Ardern also stated that the decision was made to help the economy, particularly the country’s hurting tourism sector.
“We are building on our proven plan to secure New Zealand’s economic future. […] New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business,” Arden was quoted as saying in the press release.