Metro Manila, Philippines — New Zealand has reopened its borders to international travelers, including Filipinos.

In a tweet, New Zealand Ambassador to the Philippines Peter Kell announced they are now accepting visa applications from Filipinos who wish to visit their country.

“We look forward to welcoming you & excited kaming muling ibahagi ang ganda ng NZ [we are excited to once again share the beauty of NZ]!” he added.

At 11:59 p.m. on July 31, New Zealand fully reopened to foreign visitors for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic started in March 2020. The country, along with many others including the Philippines, restricted foreign travel then to control the spread of the infection.

While it started to ease travel restrictions early this year, the New Zealand government initially only allowed vaccinated citizens to return. Next allowed entry were tourists from countries that do not need visas.

Before visiting New Zealand, Filipino travelers must meet COVID-19 vaccination requirements.

“All travellers are strongly encouraged to be up-to-date with vaccinations before travelling. You need a digital vaccine certificate or another form of electronic or paper document from a government health authority or approval authority confirming you have had a full COVID-19 vaccine course,” the New Zealand Embassy in the Philippines said.

Proof of vaccination is not needed if a person is a New Zealand citizen, has a New Zealand residence class visa, an Australian citizen living in New Zealand, or a child aged under 16, it noted.

A pre-departure test is no longer required for healthy travelers, the embassy said.

However, if the traveler is unwell and has COVID-19-like symptoms prior to flight, proof must be submitted, which can be either of the following:

— A medical certificate issued by a health practitioner confirming you do not have COVID-19. This must be obtained a maximum of 48 hours before your flight.

— Proof of a negative COVID-19 test, which can be either a PCR test taken a maximum of 48 hours before the flight or a supervised RAT or LAMP test taken a maximum of 24 hours before the flight.

Visitors are also required to complete the New Zealand Traveler Declaration, the embassy said.