From July 31, 11:59 p.m., the borders will be completely open to the world, two months earlier than the initially planned schedule, putting an end to measures that went into effect in March 2020 to combat the pandemic.
“New Zealand is now fully open for business,” Ardern said.
While the archipelago has one of the lowest rates of coronavirus-related deaths in developed countries, voices have been raised to denounce the inflexible measures that have affected economic growth.
For most of the pandemic, all people arriving from abroad have had to undergo a two-week quarantine in government-run hotels guarded by the military.
So far, only New Zealand citizens and citizens of countries with visa-free agreements can travel to New Zealand. The rest of the world will have to wait until October.
Ms Ardern said on Tuesday that the date for the full opening of borders had been brought forward by more than two months as part of a series of announcements aimed at reviving the economy, including the tourism sector.
“This will be good news for families, businesses and immigrants. It also provides time for airlines and cruise lines to prepare to return to New Zealand during the peak periods of spring and summer.” , according to my head of government.
New Zealand had 3.9 million visitors in 2019 and the tourism sector represents more than NZ$16 billion (€9.57 billion) annually.
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