Finally, some positive news. New Zealand plans to reopen the borders to both New Zealanders and foreign travellers in 2022. A phased re-opening of the borders will start in January, with its final phase on April 30, 2022.
This approach reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins stated.
On January 16, fully vaccinated New Zealanders in Australia will be permitted to travel home without a two-week quarantine. Similarly, New Zealanders based in other countries will be permitted to enter from February 13.
Additionally, fully vaccinated foreign tourists can enter from April 30, without having to self-isolate for seven days. Although, each passenger will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.
Furthermore, all travellers will require a negative pre-departure test, vaccination proof and a declaration stating they have not been to a high-risk country in the past 14 days. See the high-risk list on the government COVID-19 website.
Presently, permanent residents of New Zealand are allowed to enter. Equally, they must stay in a limited-space, government-made quarantine hotel (MIQ) for seven days. Unfortunately, unvaccinated travellers and those travelling from high-risk areas will still need to stay at MIQ for seven days, followed by three days of self-isolation at home.
Wonderfully, New Zealand has an 84% second dose vaccination rate, which is one of the highest in the world. Indeed, after weeks of endless lockdowns and Delta taking its toll, this is the positive news we need.
COVID-19 was first detected in Wuhan, China in early December 2019. Since then, it has spread across the globe, infecting over 260 million people, with 5.17 million deaths as of November 24, 2021.