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New Zealand placed under the highest level of Covid restrictions

Travellers considering a trip to New Zealand during May’s Eid holiday may have to rethink plans

Last year, New Zealand announced that it would reopen to fully vaccinated foreign travellers from 30 April 2022, and on arrival visitors would be required to self-isolate for seven days.

However, following an outbreak of the Omicron Covid-19 variant, New Zealand has been placed under the highest level of restrictions.

The restrictions include a cap of 100 vaccinated people at events and mandatory mask-wearing in shops and on public transport.

As a result, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern cancelled her upcoming wedding to television host Clarke Gayford

After confirming the cancellation of her wedding, the New Zealand Prime Minister said: “I’m no different to, dare I say it, thousands of other New Zealanders who have had much more devastating impacts felt by the pandemic, the most gutting of which is the inability to be with a loved one sometimes when they are gravely ill.”

Currently, only citizens and permanent residents of New Zealand are allowed to enter the country, and they must stay for seven days in government-managed quarantine hotels.

It was announced that overseas citizens, such as GCC-based New Zealanders, will be allowed to travel home from January 2022 without the need to quarantine, ahead of borders opening to fully vaccinated foreign travellers from the end of April.

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A New Zealand government representative said: “Fully vaccinated New Zealanders will find it easier to come home from January 2022, with foreign nationals to follow from April onwards, as the government removes the requirement for managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) for most travellers.

“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, following our transition into the traffic light system and lifting of the Auckland boundary. We have a clear, simple and safe plan, including a mandatory period of self-isolation.”

When borders do fully open up, all travellers will be need to arrange the following:

  • a negative pre-departure test
  • proof of being fully vaccinated
  • a passenger declaration about travel history
  • a day 1 test on arrival
  • a requirement to self-isolate for 7 days, and
  • a final negative test before entering the community.

The spokesperson said: “We are making this announcement today to give families, businesses, visitors and airline and airport companies certainty and time to prepare. It’s very encouraging that as a country we are now in a position to move towards greater normality.

“We always said we’d open in a controlled way, and this started with halving the time spent in MIQ to seven days. Retaining a seven-day isolate at home period for fully vaccinated travellers is an important phase in the reconnecting strategy to provide continued safety assurance. These settings will continue to be reviewed against the risk posed by travellers entering New Zealand.”

As of January 2022, New Zealand has recorded 15,104 Covid cases and 52 deaths.

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