The New Zealand government has finally announced plans to reopen their borders for international travellers.
On Wednesday, 16 March, New Zealand Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said that the country was now ready to welcome back international visitors, starting April 2022.
Who can visit New Zealand?
According to the PM, from 12 April, fully vaccinated Australians would be allowed to enter the country without undergoing quarantine or self-isolation. Then, from 1 May, vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries like as Britain, Germany, the US, Japan, South Korea and Singapore, as well as those with valid visitor visas, will be able to enter the country too.
“Closing our border was one of the first actions we took to stop Covid two years ago. It did the job we needed. But now that we’re highly vaccinated and predicted to be off our Omicron peak, it’s now safe to open up,” Ardern said.
The Prime Minister also said that the border reopening just in time for the approaching Australian school holidays will help boost New Zealand’s economic recovery in the short term and is good news for the winter ski season as well.
PM happy to open again
According to Times of India, Ardern claimed that tourism had been struggling due to the pandemic, and that with this decision, she expected to boost the country’s tourism industry.
“We are ready to safely move into a new chapter of our management of the pandemic, this change brings with it huge economic opportunities.” she said.
In 2019, pre-pandemic, New Zealand had recorded nearly 3.9 million international travellers. With tourism being one of country’s major economic contributors – think NZ$16 billion ($10.9 billion) annually, with 40% of this coming from Australian tourists, it’s little to no wonder why Ardern is excited to get the tourism ball rolling again.