After closing its borders for two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand is ready to “welcome the world back” next month as stated by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. By Moyena Parikh
“Now that we’re highly vaccinated and predicted to be off our omicron peak, it’s now safe to open up”, she said.
Vaccinated Australians will be allowed to enter the country without the need for isolation or quarantine from 11.59 pm on 12 April. Visitors from 60 countries on the visa-waiver list, including Singapore, the UK and US, will be allowed entry from midnight on 1 May.
Travellers who already have a visa, but come from countries not on the visa-waiver list, will be allowed to enter New Zealand 1 May onward. As of now, no decision has been made on allowing migrants and visitors that require a visa to enter.
But all tourists will still need to provide negative pre-departure covid test and take two antigen rapid tests within the first week of their arrival in the country.
Other details of New Zealand reopening borders
Earlier in February it was announced that New Zealand’s border would be open to Australians by July and to other tourists by October this year.
As of 16 March, the pandemic death toll of the country is 141, though the Omicron outbreak is increasing fatalities. But over 95% of people aged 12 and above are fully vaccinated and over 70% of adults have received a booster shot.
Opening up borders will definitely boost the island country’s tourism industry which used to be its biggest export earner before the two-year lockdown.
The end of border restrictions will also boost the supply of migrant labour, thereby reducing its wages and fueling inflation.
With this announcement, travel stocks received a boost with Auckland Airport gaining 1%, Air New Zealand rising 3.3% and Tourism Holdings rallied 0.7%.
“Reopening in time for the upcoming Australian school holidays will help spur our economic recovery in the short term and is good news for the winter ski season,” Ardern said. “I am proud that New Zealand is a country able in this moment in time to provide a safe place for our tourists to return to.”