New Zealand begins easing Covid-19 travel restrictions

New Zealand will begin to ease COVID-19 restrictions that have been in place at the country’s national borders since March 2020.

Chris Hipkins, minister responsible for New Zealand’s COVID-19 response, said that from November, travelers from Pacific countries such as Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu will no longer have to quarantine on arrival.

The 14 days hotel quarantine the period will be shortened to seven days for fully vaccinated travelers from abroad, with a plan to move to a system of home isolation for fully vaccinated arrivals later in 2022.

“It’s time for us to reopen to the world. We can not remain closed behind the walls of Fortress New Zealand,” Mr Hipkins said at a news conference.

New Zealand’s guard approach

Data from Johns Hopkins University shows that the country reported 96 new cases and no deaths Thursday.

New Zealand was an early adopter of strict border restrictions in response to the pandemic, shutting down leisure traffic to one of the most coveted destinations in the world.

It tried a “travel bubble” with Australia, but suspended it in July as the Delta variant spread.

A volunteer helps with a local vaccination event in Auckland, New Zealand. (Hannah Peters / Getty)

Even with this announced easing, New Zealand is planning a strong effort to keep Covid-19 in check.

All foreign nationals entering New Zealand must be fully vaccinated by 1 November.

Air New Zealand, the country’s flag carrier, has said passengers on its international flights must be fully vaccinated.

American Samoa

The places ‘untouched’ by COVID-19 all over the world

It will start implementing the policy on February 1, 2022.

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