New Zealand ends quarantine rules and reopens borders


The New Zealand government announced on Thursday that it has terminated the quarantine requirements for incoming travelers and will implement a gradual reopening of the border.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, the country has imposed strict border controls for the past two years. Most immigrants need to be quarantined in a military-operated hotel room for 10 days. The requirement was to create a bottleneck at the border.

Latest changes This means that COVID-19 vaccinated New Zealanders returning from Australia will no longer need to enter quarantine from February 27th.

In addition, COVID-19 vaccinated New Zealanders returning from countries other than Australia will be able to enter the country by March 13 without quarantine. The same applies not only to skilled workers who have been vaccinated by foreigners, but also to travelers who work on vacation schemes.

From April 12, up to 5,000 international students can enter the country without quarantine. By then, offshore temporary visa holders with valid visas can also enter the country.

By July, all fully vaccinated tourists from Australia and other visa-free countries will be able to enter without quarantine.

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Shoppers will walk through Auckland’s retail district in New Zealand on November 10, 2021. (Fiona Goodall / Reuters)

However, most other visa categories, including tourist and student visas, must wait until October before entering the country without a quarantine stay.

It does not need to be quarantined, but travelers must self-quarantine for 10 days.

On the other hand, all non-vaccinated travelers, including those who do not meet New Zealand’s vaccination requirements but are otherwise eligible for entry, must continue to be quarantined.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said opening borders in a controlled manner would allow people to reunite and make up for labor shortages while at the same time allowing the health care system to manage the expected increase in cases.

“Our strategy with Omicron is to slow the spread, and our borders are part of it,” she told the Auckland business audience. A highly contagious variant of the virus, which is now predominant worldwide, has recently been detected in New Zealand and the number of cases is gradually increasing.

Reuters contributed to this report.

Mimi Nguyen Lee

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Mimi Nguyen Ly is a reporter who covers world news with a focus on US news. Based in Australia, we have a background in clinical optometry. Contact Mimi at [email protected]