Travel restrictions

New Zealand lifts all travel restrictions

New Zealand has lifted all pandemic travel restrictions, including vaccination and testing requirements, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced this week.

Citing low case numbers and hospitalizations, expanded access to antiviral drugs and a “well-vaccinated” population, New Zealand ended its COVID-19 protection framework that kept visitors away from the start of 2020. .

As of September 13, travelers now only need to complete a New Zealand Traveler Declaration and receive a pre-flight pass, which they will present – ​​either on paper on a mobile device – at their airport of departure when checking in. registration and customs in New Zealand.

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Travelers are still encouraged to continue coronavirus testing on their first day of arrival and five days after their trip, although it is no longer mandatory.

Those who test positive during their visit “should report this result, request a PCR test and tell the testing staff that they have recently been abroad”, according to the latest guidance from the Ministry of Health. Once their positive case is confirmed, they will have to undergo a seven-day isolation period.

Along with travel restrictions, New Zealand dropped its universal mask mandate, except for healthcare settings. Visitors may still encounter mask requirements at special events, marae (Maori sacred meeting grounds) or businesses at the discretion of the host or owner.

“In short, we are now moving to a simple two-requirement mask system in healthcare facilities and 7-day isolation for positive cases only,” Ardern said in the announcement.

The news comes ahead of the country’s peak tourist season, from December to February.

“For the first time in two years, we can approach the summer with the certainty that New Zealanders and businesses so desperately need, helping to spur greater economic activity essential to our economic recovery,” Ardern said.

New Zealand began its phased reopening in February and began allowing all tourists and visa holders to enter the country from July 31 with proof of vaccination and testing requirements.