New Zealand Travel Update: 2022 Re-Opening Dates Revealed

New Zealand Travel Update: 2022 Re-Opening Dates Revealed

New Zealand has made headlines throughout the pandemic for its tough approach to pandemic. The country also took advantage of its remote geography to pursue a zero-COVID approach.

New Zealand has announced it will reopen its border to visitors in stages, starting at the end of February, after its earlier plans to do so were derailed by Omicron. 

“With Omicron’s arrival, we pushed that change in border settings out — to give ourselves the chance to roll out boosters—a chance most other countries never had.”

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern

By the time New Zealand opens its borders, it will be one of the most vaccinated countries in the world.

New Zealand locked its doors in March 2020 and put returning citizens into mandatory quarantine. In addition to some of the strictest COVID-19 border measures in the world, the government implemented snap lockdowns and widespread testing- and contact-tracing program. 

New Zealand’s Opening Stages

New Zealand’s approach to reopening is set to be a measured one.

From 27 February, fully vaccinated New Zealanders can travel back to New Zealand quarantine-free from Australia. Unvaccinated travellers must enter managed isolation and quarantine.

From 13 March, the country welcomes home its fully vaccinated citizens from other parts of the world, in addition to some vaccinated skilled workers and travel holiday workers. Vaccinated travellers will not go through quarantine. Unvaccinated travellers must enter managed isolation and quarantine.

From 12 April, up to 5,000 fully vaccinated international students will be permitted to enter New Zealand.

From July, New Zealand is expected to open up its border to fully vaccinated non-citizens from countries with a visa-waiver policy, which includes the likes of Australia, the USA, and the UK.

From October, the country plans to fully reopen to visitors from anywhere in the world, and all visa categories fully reopen.

STEPTIMINGTRAVELLERS
STEP
1
From 1.59pm,
Sunday 27 February 2022
* Reopen to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings (e.g. people with border exceptions) from Australia
STEP
2
From 11:59 pm,
Sunday 13 March 2022
* Reopen to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings from the rest of the world
* Open to skilled workers earning at least 1.5 times the median wage
* Open to Working Holiday Scheme visas
STEP
3
From 11:59 pm,
Tuesday 12 April 2022
* Open to current offshore temporary visa holders, who can still meet the relevant visa requirements,
* Open to up to 5000 international students for semester two
* Further class exceptions for critical workforces that do not meet the 1.5 times the median wage test will be considered
STEP
4
By July 2022* Open to anyone from Australia
* Open for visa-waiver travel
* The Accredited Employer Work Visa will open, meaning the skilled and health worker border exception can be phased out
STEP
5
October 2022* Border fully reopens to visitors from anywhere in the world, and all visa categories fully reopen.
New Zealand's reopening dates © Beehive / New Zealand

What are your thoughts on the government measures to curb migration? Talk to us in the comment section below. Or if you need more advice on the above, contact us for further travel & immigration advice.

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Charlie

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