New Zealand Finally Reopens Borders to International Travelers After 2 Years of Strict COVID-19 Policies

Julia Schneemann | | Industry NewsIndustry News
Roys Peak New Zealand
Roys Peak, New Zealand, picture: Tony Macstevens Photography, 100% New Zealand Facebook Page

Since August 1,  all international travelers can enter New Zealand again. Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, known internationally for her strict Covid-19 policies, closed international borders in March 2020, more than 2 years ago. Even attempts at a traveler bubble with its closest neighbor, Australia, were fraught with hiccups and constant closures. There are about 568,000 New Zealanders living in Australia, representing more than 10% of their population. This made the border closures extremely hard as many families were separated for two years.

Australian citizens and residents have been able to travel to New Zealand freely again since April 1, 2022. Up until then, strict hotel quarantine measures were in place with a two-week mandatory hotel quarantine for all, irrespective of vaccination status.

Mt Cook
Mt Cook National Park, New Zealand, picture: @dom_thepom, 100% New Zealand Facebook Page

Even after August 1, all travelers over 16 years of age continue to require proof of vaccination. While the country’s policies may seem strict to other countries, New Zealand has a death rate from Covid-19 of about a tenth of that of America. New Zealand’s strict policies have raised criticism from several other nations, however, the broad population of New Zealand was supporting Ardern’s Covid-19 policies.

The tourism sector in New Zealand however has taken a bashing during the 2-year lockdown. Revenues from international tourism were down 91.5% or NZD 16.1 bn (USD 10.2 bn) in the year ended March 2021. Since Australians make up 40% of annual visitors to New Zealand and bring much-needed tourism dollars, especially to hard-hit ski resorts, the initial opening with Australia happened four months ago. New Zealand boasts 23 ski resorts and is a popular ski destination for Australians.

Before you travel, make sure you check current entry requirements into New Zealand. 

Franz Josef Glacier
Franz Josef Glacier on New Zealand’s south island, picture: Fraser Clements 100% New Zealand Facebook Page

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