Late on February 2nd, New Zealand plans to reopen travel were revealed in the form of a 5-stage process. This comes following 2 years wherein New Zealand had some of the tightest Covid restrictions for travel around the globe.
These restrictions have allowed New Zealand to now be one of the most vaccinated countries in the world, as well as having low Covid rates throughout the country. However, they were criticised for not allowing nationals to easily re-enter the country from elsewhere in the world, alongside Australia.
Now, with a vaccination rate of 94% of the population, they have announced their plans to reopen travel in a gradual course across the year, allowing all international vaccinated travellers in by October, just in time for the summer months in the Southern Hemisphere.
Fully vaccinated citizens will be allowed to return first in February and March, with fully vaccinated international travellers from countries that can obtain a visa to New Zealand following no later than July. This will lead to fully vaccinated internationals from around the world being allowed access in October.
The 5 stages will look as follows:
- February 27th – Mandatory quarantine will be dropped for fully vaccinated citizens returning from Australia.
- March 13th – Fully vaccinated citizens returning from elsewhere will be allowed entry with a requirement for 10 days self-isolation on arrival.
- April 12th – Up to 5,000 fully vaccinated international students will be allowed entry.
- July – Fully vaccinated travellers from visa-waiver countries will be allowed entry.
- October – Fully vaccinated travellers worldwide will be allowed entry.
Though some of the exact dates for these stages are not specified as of yet, we expect to see these updated in the coming months. You can keep up with these updates on the Foreign Travel Advice page or talk to your trusted travel agent and PTS member.
In a statement, New Zealand officials said, “The government’s reconnecting plan will see all New Zealanders and key visa holders able to start to enter the country over the coming three months, assisting with the economic recovery and immediately address worker shortages
“This is a very carefully developed plan that replaces managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) for the vast majority of travellers while ensuring we maintain ongoing measures to reduce the spread of Covid-19 in our community from recent arrivals.
“With 94% of our population fully vaccinated, and 92% of those over 18 now eligible for a booster by the end of February it’s time to shift gears in our Covid-19 response to focus on reconnection and recovery.
“By reducing the gap to get boosted to three months we’re ensuring we reach our highest possible boosted rates before fully reopening.”
Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, said, “Opening back up in this managed way balances inflows of travellers so people can reunite and fill our workforce shortages, while also ensuring our healthcare system can manage an increase in cases.”
This is fantastic news for travellers, New Zealand citizens, and some excellent travel companies alike and we look forward to further news as these restrictions start to ease.
So, if you’re looking forward to booking a great holiday now that New Zealand plans to reopen travel have been released, don’t wait, get in touch with a travel business registered with PTS now for 100% financial protection through trust. Or, if you’d like assistance choosing one of the lovely PTS members to book with, you can contact PTS directly at 0207 190 9988.
And if you’d like to learn more about your consumer protection with PTS and how the Package Travel Regulations protect your holiday booking, check out our pages and articles.