New Zealand, known for having some of the strictest COVID-19 entry requirements in the world, is set to reopen to foreign travelers starting April 30.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Wednesday that the country would reopen its borders in stages, first allowing fully-vaccinated nationals to enter without staying in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) before reopening its borders to international travelers.
“Closing our border was one of the first steps we took to keep our country safe from COVID-19 and it’ll be the last thing we open up,” Hipkins said in the statement.
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travelers can enter without staying in MIQ – a quarantine hotel staffed by a team of health professionals, hotel and government personnel – from Australia starting Jan. 16 and from all other countries starting Feb. 13.
On April 30, the country will begin allowing all fully vaccinated travelers to enter. This reopening phase may be staged by visa category, and comes more than two years after the country first imposed COVID-19-related entry restrictions.
All travelers will still need to show a negative pre-departure coronavirus test, proof of full vaccination and a travel history declaration. They must also take another test upon arrival, self-isolate for seven days and take one more test before entering the community.
More details on the self-isolation period will be available next month, Hipkins said. He added that the MIQ requirement will have a role in the country’s entry requirements “in the foreseeable future.”