International Travel Update:  Fully vaccinated New Zealand nationals will find it easier to return from January 2022, with foreign nationals to follow from April onwards, as the government is set to remove the requirement for managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) for most travellers, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said on Wednesday.Also Read - LIVE India vs New Zealand Cricket Score 1st Test, Day 5: Hosts Eye Early Innroads As New Zealand Face Stiff Target To Achieve

New Zealand will reopen its borders to the world over the coming months

  • Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to New Zealand from Australia without staying in MIQ from 11.59 p.m. on January 16, 2022, according to a plan announced by Hipkins at a press conference, reported IANS.
  • Fully vaccinated Kiwis and other eligible travellers can travel to New Zealand from all other countries from 11.59 p.m. on February 13, 2022, Hipkins said, adding all fully vaccinated individuals will be able to travel to New Zealand from April 30, 2022 onwards, with the re-opening staged over time, Xinhua news agency reported.

“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 protection framework system and lifting of the Auckland boundary,” Hipkins said. Also Read - New Covid Variant Threat: India Extends Travel Restrictions to THESE Countries. Full List Here

Mandatory seven-day self-isolation & Other Covid guidelines

  • The MIQ policy is replaced by a mandatory seven-day self-isolation, he added.
  • Under the government’s plan, all incoming travellers will still be required to isolate themselves for seven days, at least for now. Hipkins said it wanted to mitigate the virus risk posed by incoming travelers by reopening the border in stages.
  • All travellers not required to go into MIQ will still require a negative pre-departure test, proof of being fully vaccinated, a passenger declaration about travel history, a day 0/1 test on arrival, a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and a final negative test before entering the community, according to the government’s reconnecting strategy.

“It’s very encouraging that as a country we are now in a position to move towards greater normality,” Hipkins said, adding the strategy will continue to be reviewed against the risk posed by travellers entering New Zealand. Also Read - What Motivated Shreyas Iyer to Get His Maiden Test Ton? Coach Pravin Amre Reveals

“The border is our biggest risk for new cases,” Hipkins said, adding the current outbreak which now has more than 7,000 cases associated with it, stems from a single traveller travelling from Australia to New Zealand.

A phased approach reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system, he said, adding further details on how self-isolation will be implemented will be made available in December, and include guidance on how people can travel from their arrival airport to their location of self-isolation and requirements for the places where they can self-isolate.