New Zealand to reopen its borders for fully vaccinated travellers from early 2022

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Nov 24, 2021, 08:05 PM(IST)

The country’s biggest city, Auckland, has been in lockdown for more than 90 days. Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

From January 2022, the border will initially open to New Zealand citizens and visa holders coming from Australia. Then from April 30, fully vaccinated people from other nations will be allowed to enter

New Zealand will be reopening its border to the fully vaccinated foreigners from next year, the country’s Covid response minister Chris Hipkins has said.

From January 2022, the border will initially open to New Zealand citizens and visa holders coming from Australia. Then from April 30, fully vaccinated people from other nations will be allowed to enter.

According to the new rules, all travellers will still have to self-isolate at home for a week, but will no longer have to pass through the country’s expensive and highly-space limited managed isolation facilities.

“Closing our border was one of the first steps we took to keep our country safe from Covid-19 and it will be one of the last things we do in terms of opening up,” Reuters quoted Hipkins as saying.

“We do know that the international restrictions we have had around our border have been tough for many people,” he added.

New Zealand was one of the first countries to close its borders for outside travellers since the pandemic began in March 2020.

Also read | New Zealand tightens travel rules as Covid spreads

Defending the government’s decision not to reopen the borders before Christmas, Hipkins said, “There continues to be a global pandemic with cases surging in Europe and other parts of the world, so we do need to be very careful when reopening the border.”

“Some people and businesses want us to start to open up before Christmas, and that’s understandable, but others want us to be more cautious. We acknowledge it’s been tough but the end of heavily restricted travel is now in sight,” Hipkins said.

Also read | New Zealand: Jacinda Ardern warns hospitals to not let Covid patients have sex with visitors

On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Arden had announced to ease tough Covid lockdowns and allowing businesses to operate in big cities.

The country’s biggest city, Auckland, has been in lockdown for more than 90 days.

According to the Ministry of Health, 91 per cent of eligible New Zealanders (those aged 12 and over) have had at least one dose of the vaccine, and 83 per cent are fully vaccinated.

The country has so far reported about 7,000 cases in all and 39 deaths

(With inputs from agencies)

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