On Wednesday, 16 March 2022, Jacinda Ardern, the Prime Minister of New Zealand, announced that they are ready to reopen their borders to let the rest of the world in, starting from April. The government has decided to lift all COVID related restrictions on the borders earlier than they had decided.
Ardern had stated, “I’m proud that New Zealand is a country able at this moment in time to provide a safe place for our tourists to return to.” She further added that from April onwards, Australians who are fully vaccinated can enter their country without undergoing any mandatory quarantine or self-isolation regulations.
The Prime Minister had also stated that this change was of great necessity as the tourism industry was struggling due to the pandemic and with that, the economic condition of the country was starting to take a detour. She commented, “We are ready to safely move into a new chapter of our management of the pandemic, this change brings with it huge economic opportunities.”
As it turns out that before the pandemic, the leading export earner of the country was rooted in tourism. The annual income of New Zealand generated through tourism was around NZ$16 billion ($10.9 billion) and about 40% of the total vacations hailed from Australia.
Back in 2019, New Zealand made a footfalls record of almost 3.9 million international tourists. However, after the coronavirus struck the world, the country had closed its international borders to all countries in March 2020 to minimize the damage and protect its people from the deadly virus.
Prior to this recent announcement, the borders of New Zealand were decided to be reopened sometime in July. So this new declaration accelerated that process by three months.
However, there are countries like prime Japan, Korea, Singapore, and Taiwan along with some markets in the Northern Hemisphere that have a visa-free arrangement with New Zealand, and they will be granted permission to enter the country from the 1st of May.