New Zealand borders to progressively reopen to the world from 27 February

New Zealand borders to progressively reopen to the world from 27 February

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.

New Zealanders living in Australia will soon be able to make their way home without having to spend two weeks in a government-run quarantine facility after Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today outlined a five step plan to reopen the nation to the world.

Borders will reopen progressively, first to New Zealand citizens travelling from Australia on 27 February, all Australians and travellers from visa waiver countries in July, and ultimately to the rest of the world in October 2022.

PM Ardern said the gradual relaxation of the nation’s ‘Managed Isolation and Quarantine’ (MIQ) program is appropriate now, but notes it has allowed New Zealand to remain safe during the global pandemic.

“MIQ meant not everyone could come home when they wanted, but it also meant that COVID could not come in when it wanted to either,” she said, speaking today at a Business NZ event.

“That’s meant we have been able to build our defences to become one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.”

NZ’s five-step program to reopening its borders is as follows:

Step 1 - from 11.59pm, 27 February 2022

The following fully vaccinated people can enter New Zealand from Australia and self-isolate upon arrival: 

  • New Zealand citizens and residents 
  • Other eligible travellers under current border settings. 

Unvaccinated travellers, and those who do not meet New Zealand’s vaccination requirements, who are eligible to enter New Zealand will continue to enter MIQ.

Step 2  - from 11.59pm, 13 March 2022

The following fully vaccinated people can enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world and self-isolate upon arrival: 

  • New Zealand citizens and residents 
  • Other eligible travellers under current border settings.
  • Skilled workers earning at least 1.5x the median wage.
  • Travellers on a working holiday scheme.
  • Partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents, provided they meet the usual visa and vaccination requirements. A family group does not need to travel to New Zealand together. 

Unvaccinated travellers, and those who do not meet New Zealand’s vaccination requirements, who are eligible to enter New Zealand will continue to enter MIQ.

Step 3 - from 11.59pm, 12 April 2022

The following fully vaccinated people can enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world and self-isolate upon arrival: 

  • Current offshore temporary visa holders with a valid visa who can still meet their visa requirements.
  • Up to 5,000 international students for semester 2

Step 4 - July 2022

The following fully vaccinated people can enter New Zealand and self-isolate upon arrival: 

  • All travellers from Australia. 
  • Visitors from countries who do not need a visa (visa waiver visitors) 
  • Travellers arriving under the Accredited Employer Work Visa categories.

Step 5 - October 2022

All visa categories will reopen in October 2022, including visitor and student visas.

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