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Wednesday, September 27, 2023

New Zealand unveils five-step border reopening plan

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern of New Zealand outlined a five-step strategy to reopen the country’s international borders, starting with a waiver of hotel quarantine restrictions for Kiwis trapped abroad due to the pandemic.

The first step begins at the end of February 2022, when fully-vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents will be allowed to travel from Australia to New Zealand. They’ll still have to self-isolate when they get there.

On March 13, 2022, the second stage will begin, when properly vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents will be able to enter the country from anywhere in the globe and fulfill procedure requirements.

Stage 3 will begin on April 12, 2022, and will allow up to 5,000 international students and offshore temporary visa holders with valid visas to enter the country.

By July 2022, the fourth step will allow fully vaccinated Australian travelers, as well as those from visa-free countries, to enter the country.

Travelers with Accredited Employer Work Visas are also welcome to arrive at this time.

The final stage is scheduled for October 2022, when the country will be open to all passengers and visa holders.

Self-isolation is still necessary for all passengers entering the country during any of the five stages.

Apart from a brief travel bubble with Australia in 2021, this will be the first time in almost two years that New Zealand has opened its borders to the rest of the globe.

“Overall, opening back up in this managed way balances inflows of travelers so people can reunite and fill our workforce shortages, while also ensuring our healthcare system can manage an increase in cases. After all, our strategy with Omicron is to slow the spread, and our borders are part of that, “ Ardern said in a statement.



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