New Zealand To Open To Vaccinated Travellers From May
‘We’re ready to welcome the world back,’ says Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand will finally end its worldwide travel ban at 11.59pm on 1 May 2022 – meaning fully vaccinated British tourists and people visiting family and friends can visit from 2 May.
By then the borders will have been shut to most UK visitors for 774 days as part of the nation’s policy to limit the impact of coronavirus.
“We’re ready to welcome the world back,” said the prime minister, Jacinda Ardern.
The government in Wellington had previously said that travellers from around 60 “visa waiver” countries, including the UK, would be allowed back in from July 2022.
Australian visitors are permitted to enter New Zealand from 11.59pm on 12 April.
Quarantine will no longer apply, but travellers to New Zealand will have to take three Covid tests: one before departure, another on entry and a third taken five or six days after arrival.
In addition, they must meet the rules for the nation in which they change planes – there are no longer direct flights between the UK and New Zealand.
The move follows Australia’s reopening on 21 February (with Western Australia following on 3 March).
New Zealand is far more economically dependent on international visitors than is Australia, and the government hopes the move will trigger a revival in the nation’s tourism industry.
Visitors must apply for an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) prior to coming to New Zealand, and pay NZ$35 ($18) for the International Visitor Levy.
René de Monchy, chief executive for Tourism New Zealand, said: “Our people and place are what make us unique, and we look forward to sharing this with the world again”.
His colleague Sarah Handley, general manager Americas & Europe, said: “The announcement today will give our tourism industry the certainty and boost it needs to ramp up efforts in international markets.”
But the opening to British travellers will take place at the same time as the onset of winter: the start of May in the southern hemisphere corresponds with the beginning of November in the northern half of the planet.
While some winter sports fans will be tempted, significant numbers are not expected to arrive until late in 2022.
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