New Zealand plans to open up cautiously to tourism with neighboring countries

Wellington (dpa-AFX) – New Zealand is planning, for the first time since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic, a cautious opening up to quarantine-free tourism with neighboring countries. Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson told Radio New Zealand on Thursday that a deal with Australia could go into effect in April. Similar agreements should be concluded soon with Pacific countries such as the Cook Islands and Niue.

New Zealand closed its borders to travelers in March 2020. With few exceptions, only its own citizens and people residing in New Zealand were permitted to enter the country.

The island nation is considered a model country in crisis due to its extremely strict procedures and meticulous contact tracing. In the country of 4.8 million, about 2,400 cases have been recorded so far, and 26 people have died in connection with Covid-19. For a long time the situation was normal again.

“There are a few other questions that need to be addressed – like what we do if there is an outbreak and what that means for people who are not at home at the time,” Robertson said. But he is “very optimistic” that this will soon become clear. / rjl / cfn / DP / jha

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