New Zealand has reopened its international borders to all visitors starting this Monday (08.01.2022), two years after being closed in an effort to contain the spread of Covid-19.
The move includes tourists and international students who need visas, including Chinese nationals, the New Zealand government explained in a statement released on Sunday.
New Zealand began gradually reopening its international borders last February, but initially only citizens returning from overseas were allowed to enter the country under a government plan.
However, as of today, all visitors are allowed to enter on the condition that they produce a vaccination certificate or an approved exemption.
“This is great news for tourism and the economy in the spring and summer when people in the northern hemisphere book their winter breaks,” New Zealand Tourism Minister Stuart Nash was quoted as saying.
Open to foreign students
The move gives the green light for cruise ships to enter the country – the first of which is scheduled to dock in Auckland Harbor on August 12 – as well as the resumption of all teaching activities for foreign students.
Before the pandemic, the education sector aimed at foreigners contributed about 5,000 million New Zealand dollars (3,146 million US dollars or 3,072 million euros) to the country’s economy, a decline of almost 75 percent last year, according to Radio New Zealand.
New Zealand has sealed its borders since March 2020 and delayed the return of its own nationals by imposing daily entry quotas to prevent the virus from spreading across the country.
In early February, officials announced a five-stage reopening plan, which began on February 28, raising the daily limit for New Zealanders to return.
New Zealand, which has vaccinated 96 percent of its target population with two doses, has accumulated more than 1.6 million cases and more than 1,500 deaths since the outbreak began.
mg (ef, dpa)
“Typical beer advocate. Future teen idol. Unapologetic tv practitioner. Music trailblazer.”