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Sunday, November 28, 2021

New Zealand Reopens to International Tourists

New Zealand Government said that the country will keep its borders closed to most international travelers for the next five months. Along with its geographic isolation, the South Pacific country enforces some of the tightest pandemic restrictions among the OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) nations. The tight restrictions are aimed to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help its economy bounce back faster than many of its peers.

However, the unexpected and highly contagious outbreak of the Delta variant at the beginning of this year has forced governments to change their strategy. Currently, only Auckland, the main city, is gradually opening as vaccination rates increase.

From April 2022 onwards, international travelers who have been fully vaccinated are allowed to enter the country, with the re-opening staged over time, COVID-19 Response Minister, Chris Hipkins, told a news conference. Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in neighboring Australia can travel to the country starting from January 16. However, vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders from other countries will only be allowed to enter the country starting from February 13.

Hipkins said, “A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed”. He also added, “This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health care system”.

Travelers will no longer be required to undergo a quarantine or any sort of isolation, but other measures will be enforced properly, including a negative pre-departure test, proof of being fully vaccinated, and a COVID-19 test on arrival.

Callesya Lovely
My name is Callesya Lovely and I am an International Relations student from Indonesia. I enjoy reading, writing and researching and I develop a keen interest in issues pertaining to international and domestic politics, such as human rights, international security, racial and gender equality, etc.

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