25 November 2021 at 8:58 am

New Zealand to begin opening up to vaccinated foreign nationals from 30 April 2022

New Zealand will begin allowing fully vaccinated foreign nationals to travel to New Zealand from 30 April 2022 onwards, with the reopening staged over time and possibly by visa category.

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COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says New Zealand will be removing the requirement to go into managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) for most travellers in stages, but they will have to self-isolate for seven days, with pre-departure and post-arrival testing.

Travellers will be able to enter New Zealand without going into MIQ in three steps:

  • Step 1 – opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings, from Australia, from 11.59 pm on Sunday 16 January 2022, provided they have been in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days.
  • Step 2 – opening to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings, from all but Very High-Risk countries, from 11.59 pm on Sunday 13 February 2022.

  • Step 3 – opening to fully vaccinated foreign nationals, possibly staged by visa category, from Saturday 30 April 2022 onwards.

The Very High-Risk classification for Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil will be removed in early December 2021 and travellers from these countries will be able to enter New Zealand on the same basis as travellers from most other countries. Papua New Guinea will continue to be classified as Very High-Risk. 

The three steps are a medium risk pathway. Those who do not meet the requirements for a medium risk pathway, but are still permitted to enter New Zealand under current border settings, will continue to enter MIQ upon arrival under the new regime of seven days in managed isolation, followed by three days of home isolation. This will include those who do not meet vaccination requirements, including unvaccinated New Zealand citizens and those from Very High-Risk countries.

All travellers not required to go into MIQ will still require:

  • a negative pre-departure test
  • proof of being fully vaccinated
  • a passenger declaration about travel history
  • a day 0/1 test on arrival
  • a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and
  • a final negative test before entering the community.

“It’s very encouraging that as a country we are now in a position to move towards greater normality,” Minister Chris Hipkins said.

“We always said we’d open in a controlled way, and this started with halving the time spent in MIQ to seven days. Retaining a seven-day isolate at home period for fully vaccinated travellers is an important phase in the reconnecting strategy to provide continued safety assurance.

“These settings will continue to be reviewed against the risk posed by travellers entering New Zealand,” he said.

“There continues to be a global pandemic with cases surging in Europe and other parts of the world, so we do need to be very careful when reopening the border.”

Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao Chief Executive Grant McPherson has welcomed the New Zealand Government’s move towards opening the borders to international students.

“This news is a great boost for the international education sector. We will keep education providers and international students up to date as we learn more on the detail of how the changes will work,” he said.

The New Zealand Government will release further details on how self-isolation will be implemented in December 2021. There will be guidance on how people can travel from their arrival airport to their location of self-isolation and requirements for the places where they can self-isolate.

For more information, read the media release from COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins – Reconnecting New Zealand – the next steps.

For the latest official New Zealand Government information and advice, go to covid19.govt.nz

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