New Zealand has announced that Australians are set to be allowed to travel to the island nation by July, with the opening of the border to the rest of the world in October
The announcement came during a press conference of New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern explaining the next phase of the country’s border policy.
The country will begin to open its borders later this month to vaccinated New Zealanders travelling from Australia, allowing them to bypass managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) and self-isolate on return.
The announced changes also declared self-isolation will last 10 days.
NZ Citizens are currently welcome to return home at any time, however must comply with MIQ.
All international arrivals are to be given two rapid antigen tests at the airport.
The announcement of New Zealand’s Border reopening is a part of a five-phased plan “to reconnect New Zealand to the world”.
“Today I am announcing that fully vaccinated Kiwis and other currently eligible travellers from Australia will be able to travel to New Zealand from 11:59 pm Sunday 27 February, and instead of going into MIQ, will be able to self-isolate,” PM Ardern said.
“In Step 2, just two weeks later, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other currently eligible travellers from the rest of the world will also be able to travel into New Zealand without going through MIQ.”
Step 3 which will commence in April will see non-citizens with valid visas, such as international students and skilled workers, skip MIQ.
“Step 4 sees the biggest expansion yet and includes our Australian cousins and all other visitors and business travellers who can normally enter New Zealand without a visa. This stage is likely to begin when we have much larger case numbers than we have now,” PM Ardern said.
“And finally, step 5 begins in October and includes all other visitors and students who require a visa to enter New Zealand, with normal visa processing resuming.”
New Zealand is battling a growing wave of Omicron cases and unlike Australia has not reached its peak yet.
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison is yet to comment on the announcement.
Double-vaxxed Australians have been permitted to leave Australia for tourism since November 2021, however, the destination is dependent on the travel restrictions of other countries.
The announcement of travel resuming between Australia and New Zealand is a huge step towards achieving ‘The Post Vaccination Phase’ on The National Plan to transition Australia’s National COVID-19 Response plan.
The New Zealand border will reopen to Australian tourists in July
For more information on the border reopening plan head to the Covid-19 NZ website.