New Zealand will reopen its borders for tourists from next month, the country’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday.
In a statement, Jacinda Ardern said that in the first phase, Australians will be able to travel to enter New Zealand without needing to quarantine or isolate from April 13.
Effective from March 11, New Zealand was reduced the isolation period for COVID-19 infected persons and close contacts from 10 to seven days.
Ardern said that as of May 2, “vaccinated travelers from visa-waiver countries such as the large tourist markets of the UK, US, Japan, Germany, Korea and Singapore, and those with valid visitor visas, will be able to arrive.”
“Closing our border was one of the first actions we took to stop COVID-19 two years ago. It did the job we needed. But now that we’re highly vaccinated and predicted to be off our Omicron peak, it’s now safe to open up,” she added.
New Zealand has vaccinated 94% of its population aged 12 and above, according to the Health Ministry.
“I am proud that New Zealand is a country which is able to provide a safe place for tourists to return to due to our strong health response to COVID-19,” Ardern said.
New Zealand reported 19,452 community COVID-19 cases and eight deaths over the past 24 hours, according to the Health Ministry data, bringing the total number of cases since the start of the pandemic to 418,861 and death toll to 141.