New Zealand is finally reopening its borders to visitors starting next month

Mar 17 2022, 4:16 pm

After two years of being completely closed to visitors due to the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand is finally opening its borders with updated rules.

The government of New Zealand announced that starting April 12, the country will move to Step 3 of its reopening. Its borders will reopen to a number of different fully vaccinated travellers.

The list includes Australian citizens and permanent residents arriving from anywhere in the world, as well as temporary work and student visa holders who still meet their visa requirements (including people currently outside NZ and those who leave and want to return).

Another 5,000 international students looking to study in the country for their second semester will be welcome.

Then, beginning May 1, Canadians and others from visa-waiver countries will be allowed to visit NZ. Those with a temporary visitor visa are also welcome.

“If you have a temporary visitor visa and you are currently in New Zealand, you can leave any time and return as long as your visa conditions allow you to,” the government’s press release read. The condition also applies to those holding a guardian visa.

Only fully vaccinated individuals are allowed entry into New Zealand. A negative pre-departure test (PCR, LAMP or Rapid Antigen) will also remain mandatory for all travellers.

Travellers must take the first test on arrival and a second between days five to six. If a traveller tests positive on arrival or five to six days after arriving, they will be asked to self-isolate.

“We look forward to welcoming manuhiri [visitors], family and friends back in May,” said René de Monchy, Chief Executive of Tourism New Zealand.

“New Zealand has plenty to offer international visitors from breathtaking landscapes, rare and remarkable wildlife to our rich culture and heritage; our people and place are what make us unique, and we look forward to sharing this with the world again.”

In July of this year, New Zealand will enter Step 4 of their reopening plan, allowing Accredited Employer Work Visa (AEWV) holders into the country.

The final step is planned for October when the border will reopen, and normal visa processing resumes for all categories. Border exceptions will be phased out.

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