New Zealand fully opens up to travel in ‘enormous moment’ after pandemic closure – Daily Record

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New Zealand has fully reopened for travel for the first time since its borders closed due to Covid in March 2020.

Travellers around the world aching to go to New Zealand will be thrilled to hear the long-awaited news.

The country has operated strict border control throughout the pandemic. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said New Zealand is “open for business” after the final stage of reopening was completed on Sunday night (July 31).

Kiwi authorities are welcoming visitors, but travel restrictions still apply. New Zealand’s entry requirements require proof of vaccination and two rapid lateral flow tests upon arrival.

The country began rolling back its border restrictions in February through a five-stage process. Its final stage began in April and allowed citizens of visa waiver countries to enter from May, including US and UK holidaymakers.

Now people from non-visa waiver countries, such as China and India, will be allowed to enter, along with those arriving on cruise ships. New Zealand is open to student, visitor, and work visa applications.

On August 1, PM Ardern spoke about the reopening in a speech to the China Business Summit. She said: “It’s been a staged and cautious process on our part since February, as we, alongside the rest of the world, continue to manage a very live global pandemic, while keeping our people safe.

“New Zealanders are hosts. Manaakitanga (hospitality) streams through our veins and we open our arms to tourists and students, including from China, which prior to 2020 was New Zealand’s largest source of international students, and second-largest source of tourists.

“For those looking to make their journey here, haere mai, we welcome you.”

Find more information about the reopening and entry requirements on the New Zealand Immigration website here.

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