After 2 and a half years of maintaining all kinds of COVID-related restrictions strictly nationwide, New Zealand Finally decided to fully open its borders to the world at the end of July 2022.
This decision was declared by the Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern, on Wednesday, May 11. According to her statement, the country will open its international borders from 11:59 p.m. on July 31. This also includes the local ports to welcome back cruise ships.
This plan will be put into action to regain the economic stability of the country. As Ardern said, “We are building on our proven plan to secure New Zealand’s economic future”.
She has made a statement at a Business NZ lunch in Auckland that further supports this. She believes that opening up the country to tourism and allowing immigrants to enter will revive their economy and immediately help with the skill shortage crisis.
Ardern further stated, “New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business”. Most of the sectors in New Zealand rely on tourism to keep them afloat. That is why this reopening of the international boundary came 2 months ahead of schedule.
New Zealand initially closed its borders and practised the toughest restrictions at the borders starting from March of 2020. They have also conducted the strictest lockdown regulations. After achieving high vaccination rates and a very low death toll of 0.017% even after the recent spike, they came out of the pandemic as a global success story. This data is based on The New York Times database.
The country started by opening its border to vaccinated Australian tourists in April of 2022. And just last week, vaccinated travellers from more than 60 countries (except China and India) that do not require a short term visa were allowed to enter the borders.
Stuart Nash, New Zealand’s tourism minister, said in the statement, “We will be fully open to the world”. They are hoping that this decision will reel in more than 3 million new visitors from around the world by simplifying immigration processes and employing thousands of workers by extending work visas.