WELLINGTON: New Zealand’s borders were opened to visitors worldwide on Monday for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic closed in March 2020.
New Zealand’s borders to New Zealand began to reopen for the first time in February, and restrictions were progressively eased.
The reopening of borders ended last night with visitors who need visas, and those on student visas are also now allowed to return to New Zealand. New Zealand allows cruise ships and foreign recreational boats to dock at ports.
Most visitors arriving in New Zealand still need to be vaccinated against COVID and must take two COVID tests. However, there are no quarantine requirements.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday during a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland that the final opening of the borders had been an enormous moment.
“It’s been a staged and cautious process on our part since February as we, alongside the rest of the world, continue to manage a very live global pandemic while keeping our people safe.”
International students were a significant contributor to New Zealand’s economy, and educational providers hope the reopening of borders will boost schools and universities across the country.
New Zealand’s Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said the return of cruise ships would also boost local industries.
“Most cruise visits are during the warmer months of October to April, and summer is our bumper tourism season overall. This means it will be full steam ahead for the industry,” said Nash.