The authorities of New Zealand announced this Wednesday that they will not open their borders to foreign travelers until April 2022Although vaccinated nationals and residents will be able to enter the country from January and February, depending on where they arrive.
In a statement, the New Zealand Government indicated that restrictions on New Zealanders and those with residence permits flying from Australia will be lifted on January 16 and from the rest of the world on February 13.
The rest of the vaccinated foreign travelers will be able to travel to the oceanic country almost without restrictions as of April 30 next.
Currently, entry into New Zealand, which closed its borders in March 2020 due to the pandemic, is carried out through a strict process in which places are drawn, which limits entry to small groups that have to quarantine seven days.
The new system will allow the entry of those vaccinated travelers, who will have to present a negative test before traveling, undergo another test upon arrival and spend seven days isolated in the place they choose. Before finalizing the isolation they will have to undergo another test of COVID.
“Closing our border was one of the first steps we took to keep our country safe from COVID and opening will be the last thing we do”Said the Minister for Response to COVID-19, Chris Hipkins.
“We made this announcement today to give families, businesses, visitors, airlines and airport companies time to prepare. It is encouraging as a country that we can move towards greater normality, ”added Hipkins. “We recognize that it has been tough, but the end of the severe travel restrictions is now in sight.“, said. Over time, the frustration of New Zealanders living abroad had grown, as well as pressure against the government to loosen these restrictions.
Last Monday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced that the country will adopt from December to a new flexible system of restrictions in the country, which includes perimeter closure of businesses in the event of a large increase in infections, but without declaring confinements.
New Zealand was one of the countries that acted before and most forcefully against COVID and has managed to maintain a low number of infections (about 10,390), and deaths (40).
Nevertheless, in October it abandoned the zero-case strategy due to the persistence of outbreaks and the increase in vaccination, with about 70 percent of the population inoculated against COVID expected to reach 90 percent in the next few weeks.
(With information from EFE)
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