Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from all countries can start travelling to New Zealand without quarantine from February 13.(AAP: Dean Lewins)
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders in Australia will be able to travel to New Zealand without a two-week quarantine period from January 16, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins has said.
- New Zealand has announced a staged approach to opening its international border
- The first stage begins in January, when fully vaccinated New Zealanders in Australia will be able to travel home without a two-week quarantine period
- But travellers will still be required to complete seven days of self-isolation upon arrival
Mr Hipkins has outlined a staged reopening of international borders, with foreign travellers who are fully vaccinated against COVID able to enter the country from April 30.
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travellers from all other countries could start travelling to New Zealand without quarantine from February 13, Mr Hipkins said.
However, Mr Hipkins said there would be a mandatory 7-day self-isolation period for those who were not required to enter quarantine.
He said all travellers will also require a negative pre-departure test, proof of vaccination and a declaration that they had not been in a very high-risk country in the past 14 days.
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed,” Mr Hipkins said.
“This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.”
Mr Hipkins said Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil would be removed from the “very high risk” list from early December.
“Travellers from these countries will be able to enter New Zealand on the same basis as travellers from most other countries,” he said.
Papua New Guinea will continue to be classified as a “very high risk” country.
The move eases border restrictions that have been in place since the pandemic hit in March last year.
Mr Hipkins said New Zealand’s international border remained the biggest risk to introducing COVID cases into the country.
New Zealand recorded 215 new cases of COVID-19 on Wednesday. The country has second dose COVID vaccination rate of 84 per cent.
On Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the country would end a three-and-a-half-month lockdown in Auckland next month as it adopts a new coronavirus control strategy.
Ms Ardern said that from 11:59pm on December 2, New Zealand will adopt a new COVID-19 response that aims to contain the virus, rather than attempting to eliminate it completely.