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New Zealand Announces Three-Phase Reopening of Borders

Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from all other countries will be able to enter from February 13


New Zealand
A silver fern, New Zealand's floral symbol, greets passengers at Sydney Airport. Photo: Reuters

 

New Zealand’s government said on Wednesday it would reopen its borders to Australian residents who are fully vaccinated against Covid-19 from January 16.

Arrivals will no longer need to spend 14 days in government-mandated quarantine, said Chris Hipkins, the minister overseeing New Zealand’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from all other countries will be able to enter from February 13. The measures will be extended to all fully vaccinated individuals from April 30.

“Closing our border was one of the first steps we took to keep our country safe from Covid-19 and it’ll be the last thing we open up,” Hipkins said. “We have a clear, simple and safe plan, including a mandatory period of self-isolation.”

He said the border would open in three phases. All travellers not required to go into quarantine would still require a negative pre-departure test, proof of being fully vaccinated, a passenger declaration about travel history, a test on arrival and would have to self-isolate for seven days.

The border would not be opened in time for the busy holiday period, Hipkins said. “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,” he said.

He noted that New Zealand’s current caseload of 7,000 was caused by a single person arriving from Australia.

Hipkins said the “very high risk” classification for Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil would be removed in early December.

 

  • George Russell

 


 

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George Russell

George Russell is a freelance writer and editor based in Hong Kong who has lived in Asia since 1996. His work has been published in the Financial Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, New York Post, Variety, Forbes and the South China Morning Post.

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