A silver fern, New Zealand’s floral emblem, greets passengers at Sydney Airport © Loren Elliott / Reuters
New Zealand on Wednesday said it would reopen its borders to fully vaccinated Australian residents from January 16, 2022, and allow citizens of both countries entry.
Arrivals no longer have to spend 14 days in government-mandated quarantine, said Chris Hipkins, the minister overseeing New Zealand’s handling of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and other eligible travelers from all other countries can enter from February 13, 2022. The measures will be extended to all fully vaccinated people from April 30, 2022.
Hipkins said the “very high risk” rating for Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil will be lifted in early December.
“Closing our border was one of the first steps we took to protect our country from Covid-19 and it will be the last thing we open,” Hipkins said. “We have a clear, simple and safe plan, including a mandatory period of self-isolation.”
He said the border would open in three phases. All non-quarantined travelers will still need a negative pre-departure test, full proof of vaccination, a passenger’s travel history statement, a test on arrival, and self-isolating for seven days.
The border won’t open in time for the busy holiday season, Hipkins said. “Some people and companies want us to start opening before Christmas and that’s understandable, but others want us to be more careful,” he said.