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I can’t think of another country that has closed itself off from the rest of the world as tightly as New Zealand has over the past couple of years so it’s great to be able to report that it looks like the days of the country’s international isolation are coming to an end sooner than we were expecting.
Welcome back New Zealand
New Zealand closed its borders in March 2020 and those borders have remained firmly shut for most of the past 2 years (a brief attempt at a bubble with Australia lasted about as long as an ice cream in a heatwave). Now, however, the country is reopening.
Since the beginning of this month, select fully vaccinated travelers (mostly New Zealand’s citizens and residents) have been able to enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world, and now we’ve been told that two other key reopening measures will be brought forward.
From 13 April 2022, fully vaccinated Australian citizens and permanent residents, current temporary work and student visa holders from anywhere in the world, and up to 5,000 international students from anywhere in the world, will be able to enter New Zealand without the need to self-isolate or the need to enter mandatory quarantine.
From 2 May 2022, vaccinated visitors from the United States, the UK, and 58 other countries who qualify to visit New Zealand under its visa waiver program will be able to enter the country without the need to self-isolate or the need to enter mandatory quarantine. Vaccinated visitors from other countries who already hold a valid visitor visa will also be permitted to enter without restrictions.
Full details of New Zealand’s reopening program can be found on this government webpage.
Health requirements for entry
All visitors to New Zealand will have to meet the following health requirements:
- Visitors must provide a negative COVID-19 pre-departure test
- Visitors must meet New Zealand’s vaccination requirements (check)
- Visitors will have to take (and pass) 2 rapid antigen tests on Day 0/1 and Day 5/6 and submit their results to the authorities.
- Anyone registering a positive rapid antigen test must register that fact and follow up with a PCR test.
Anyone testing positive for Covid-19 will be required to self-isolate for 7 days.
This is fantastic news. New Zealand may be located a very long flight away from most people who read this site but it’s also a stunningly beautiful place to visit and well worth whatever effort you have to go through to get there.
They say that you often don’t know what you have until you no longer have it and for me, that has been the case with respect to access to New Zealand. Out of all the counties that I’ve missed being able to visit over the past two years, New Zealand is top of the list and despite being more than a little reluctant to plan any major international trips just yet, I’ve already allowed myself a few minutes to think about a possible return to Wanaka, Queenstown, and Milford Sound and it has been fun contemplating (albeit briefly) how I’d go about building a trip. If I do end up planning something, I may even take Joanna with me this time 🙂
From 2 May 2022, New Zealand will be reopening its doors to vaccinated visitors from over 60 countries including the United States and the UK.