New Zealand to open to foreign visitors from April 30

New Zealand announced plans on Wednesday to reopen its borders to foreign travellers from the end of April next year.

The country has had tight border controls in place since COVID-19 hit in March 2020, but those restrictions will now slowly be eased.

From January next year, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in Australia can travel to the country.

New Zealanders from most other countries will be allowed in from February.

Those arriving have to be fully vaccinated but will no longer be required to stay at state quarantine facilities. Instead, other measures will be put in place including self-isolation and a negative pre-departure test.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins:

"A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure that risk is carefully managed and it reduces the potential impacts on vulnerable communities and on the New Zealand health system."

The government's tight border restrictions have helped New Zealand limit the spread of the disease, kept its death toll down, and allowed the economy to recover faster than others.

But an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant earlier this year forced the government to change track.

The main focus has now been placed on vaccinating the population, with the main city of Auckland gradually opening up as inoculation rates climb.

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting