New Zealand’s borders have been closed to international travellers for more than two years as the country imposed one of the strictest Covid-19 lockdowns. But from next month, Australians will be able to enter, with the rest of the world soon to follow.
Currently, only New Zealand citizens can leave and enter the country, but from 13 April, Australian citizens will be permitted entry without the need to quarantine or isolate.
And from 2 May, the borders will open to fully vaccinated visa-waiver travellers, such as those from the UK and US. Citizens from outside the visa-waiver list who already have a valid visitor visa will also be allowed to enter New Zealand from 2 May.
All arrivals will be required to present a negative Covid test. The full requirements to enter New Zealand can be found here.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand is “ready to welcome the rest of the world back” adding that, “we have now received guidance that it is safe to significantly bring forward the next stage of border reopening work, bringing back our tourists.”
The latest Covid data in New Zealand
Strict lockdowns and border closures have made New Zealand a success story in the Covid pandemic.
Up until January 2022, the number of daily cases never went above 150 when looking at a rolling 7-day average. Compare this with the UK, which hasn’t seen daily cases below 150 since 11 March 2020, and New Zealand has done a remarkable job at keep the spread of the virus at bay.
However, in recent weeks, the number of covid cases in New Zealand has increased significantly.
At the end of February and the start of March, the number of cases rose from a rolling 7-day average of 154 on 2 February to a peak of 20,224 on 20 March.
In the last week, cases have started to come down. As of 24 March, the rolling 7-day average was 16,979 cases.
Nonetheless, the number of deaths remain low. Over the whole pandemic, New Zealand has recorded 201 deaths. In addition, 95% of the eligible population has now been double-vaccinated, and 72% has received a booster jab.