New Zealand fully reopens borders, marking end of COVID controls | Coronavirus pandemic

The South Pacific nation started easing its robust border regime in February.

New Zealand has absolutely reopened to worldwide guests, lifting the final remnants of one of many hardest border regimes launched in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The nation started reopening its borders in February with the lifting of restrictions on New Zealand residents, adopted in Could by the return of vacationers from greater than 50 international locations together with the US, Canada and the UK.

The ultimate border restrictions ended at midnight on Sunday with vacationers from non-visa waiver international locations, worldwide college students, and cruise ships allowed to enter the nation.

Most guests will nonetheless must be vaccinated towards COVID-19 and take two assessments after arriving, however is not going to must quarantine.

“It’s been a staged and cautious course of on our half since February as we, alongside the remainder of the world, proceed to handle a really reside international pandemic, whereas retaining our folks protected,” New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern stated throughout a speech on the China Enterprise Summit in Auckland on Monday.

New Zealand principally saved COVID-19 in another country in the course of the pandemic till the arrival of the extremely infectious Omicron variant in December rendered its robust border controls largely moot.

Whereas the South Pacific nation at one level boasted one of many lowest loss of life tolls on earth, its isolation decimated industries equivalent to tourism and left 1000’s of New Zealanders stranded abroad.

Earlier than the pandemic, tourism and worldwide schooling had been New Zealand’s greatest and fourth-largest exports, respectively, with the previous using greater than 225,000 folks.

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