New Zealand’s borders are opening fully after a long pandemic lockdown

New Zealand’s borders are opening fully after a long pandemic lockdown

FILE PHOTO – People prepare to fish from Orakei Wharf as lockdown restrictions for the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) are eased in Auckland, New Zealand November 10, 2021. Portal/Fiona Goodall

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WELLINGTON, Aug 1 (Portal) – New Zealand’s borders reopened fully to visitors from around the world on Monday for the first time since being closed by the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020.

New Zealand’s borders first reopened to New Zealanders in February and restrictions have been gradually eased.

The process of reopening borders ended last night with visitors requiring visas and those on student visas now also allowed to return to New Zealand. New Zealand now allows cruise ships and foreign leisure yachts to dock in its ports.

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Most visitors arriving in New Zealand must remain vaccinated against COVID and have two COVID tests upon arrival. However, there is no quarantine requirement.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said Monday during a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland that the final phased opening of borders was a tremendous moment.

“Since February, it has been a staged and cautious process on our part as we, along with the rest of the world, continue to navigate a very vibrant global pandemic while protecting our employees.”

International students have made important contributions to the New Zealand economy and education providers are hoping the reopening of borders will give schools and universities a boost across the country.

New Zealand Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said the return of cruise ships will also boost local industry.

“Most cruise visits occur during the warmer months of October to April, and summer is our peak tourist season overall. That means the industry will move forward at full speed,” Nash said.

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Reporting by Lucy Craymer; Edited by Sandra Maler and Michael Perry

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