New Zealand will keep its borders closed to most international travellers for a further five months, the government said on Wednesday, outlining a cautious easing of coronavirus border curbs that have been in place for nearly two years.
Along with its geographic isolation, the South Pacific country enforced some of the tightest pandemic restrictions among OECD nations, limiting the spread of Covid-19 and helping its economy bounce back faster than many of its peers.
But an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant earlier this year has forced a shift in strategy, with the main city of Auckland now only gradually opening up as vaccination rates climb.
Fully vaccinated international travellers will be allowed to enter the country from April 30, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told a news conference. The travellers will have to self-isolate for seven days on arrival.
Vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in neighbouring Australia can travel to New Zealand from Jan. 16, while vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders most from other countries will be allowed in from Feb. 13.
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed,” Hipkins said.
In other news – Kelly Khumalo Wants to Take care of President Cyril Ramaphosa
Kelly Khumalo is a woman of many talents. She is a singer, dancer and actress. Today, she adds one new title to her portfolio: comedian.
The Empini hitmaker took to her Instagram to hit up President Cyril Ramaphosa for an opportunity to take care of his skin. Learn more