Government AffairsVaccinated travellers from low-risk countries could skip quarantine from 1Q 2022.

Fortress no more? New Zealand eyes reopening next year

New Zealand will let in fully vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries from early 2022.
New Zealand will let in fully vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries from early 2022. Photo Credit: Getty Images/Robert CHG

After keeping its borders firmly shut for 18 months since the Covid-19 pandemic, New Zealand is now planning a cautious reopening to international travellers from low-risk countries early next year.

From 1Q 2022, fully vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries can enter New Zealand without needing to quarantine.

Arrivals from medium-risk countries will need to complete some form of quarantine under more relaxed conditions, while those arriving from high-risk countries, or the unvaccinated, will be required to stay 14 days in a quarantine hotel run by the military.

Ahead of its planned reopening next year, a new trial is expected to begin in October to allow some business travellers to quarantine at home instead of the military-run hotels.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said that the country will maintain an elimination approach towards the Covid-19 virus and borders will not open until after the country's vaccine rollout was completed at the end of the year.

New Zealand has one of the slowest vaccinated rates among developed nations, although inoculation speed is now accelerating.

In July, New Zealand's travel bubble with Australia was popped due to the highly transmissible Delta variant in Australia.

The country has so far recorded only 2,500 cases and 26 deaths.

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