Almost two years after New Zealand closed its borders to keep the coronavirus out, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern promised in a press conference on Thursday to reopen the national borders in phases.


However, international tourists will not be allowed to travel to the country again until October. From the end of February, the first New Zealanders from Australia will be welcome in their own country without the mandatory hotel quarantine for much of the corona pandemic.

From February 27, New Zealanders from Australia will be welcome, and they will have to self-isolate for up to ten days after arrival. On March 13, New Zealand will reopen its borders to its own residents currently residing elsewhere in the world. International students will be admitted again on April 12; from July, everyone will travel from Australia to New Zealand. Finally, New Zealand hopes to reopen its borders to international tourists in October.

“The fear associated with the mandatory hotel quarantine was heartbreaking, but this measure has undeniably saved lives,” said Prime Minister Ardern, who has come under increasing fire in recent months for the still closed borders. “Not everyone could come home when they wanted to, but that also meant Covid-19 couldn’t get in.”

New Zealand also made plans to reopen the borders at the end of last year, but the omikron variant of the coronavirus caused those plans to be postponed. New Zealand is now also struggling with an outbreak of the omikron variant. More than 100 infections were reported daily in the past week.

According to Ardern, reopening the borders will lead to “more corona infections in our society”. However, as far as the Prime Minister is concerned, the country is “as well prepared as possible”, now that more than 95 percent of the population has been fully vaccinated.

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