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New Zealand is finally reopening its borders next month

After two years cut off from the rest of the world, the country has started a phased return to normal life

Sophie Dickinson
Written by
Sophie Dickinson

Back in August of last year, when New Zealand said it wasn’t going to reopen for most tourists until at least 2022, it looked like a very safe (if slightly overly precautious) move. And yet in the months since, the Kiwis’ caution has sort of been proved justified by Omicron.

But now, as the variant peters out in many areas of the world, NZ is planning to open up to the world. A crucial part of the NZ’s success in riding out the worst of the pandemic has been its strict isolation measures. But all that could be over in just six months. Prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced a phased border reopening plan that should see fully-jabbed international travellers allowed in by July.

As of March 2, Kiwis living in Australia have already been let back in. The next stage, starting on April 13, will see all fully-vaccinated Australians allowed to travel to NZ without having to quarantine or isolate. From May 2, double-jabbed travellers from this list of countries (which includes the UK and US) will be allowed in. All arrivals will also need to show a negative Covid test.

NZ’s overall plan comprises five stages, three of which have been laid out in detail so far. Each step will be implemented with a month-long gap in between. You can read more detail about each stage, and find out their exact dates and timings on New Zealand’s official government Covid-19 site.

At the moment, it looks like all unvaccinated arrivals will still be subject to NZ’s strict hotel quarantine measures. But if you do have the jab, it seems that Pacific getaway – or long-awaited family reunion – could finally be back on the cards.

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