Two years ago when the coronavirus pandemic hit, New Zealand closed its borders to any foreign travel. Now the country has announced plans on lifting current restrictions on international travel. Just in time for the 2022 ski season.
New Zealand was among the countries with the strictest policies when it came to international travel during the pandemic. Just recently the country has removed travel restrictions for neighboring Australian citizens. Australians are now able to travel to New Zealand without a mandatory quarantine upon arrival. After announcing a five-step plan, the country is slowly beginning to welcome international travelers back within its borders.
If all goes to plan, international skiers and snowboarders could be shredding the slopes of New Zealand for the first time since 2019. Beginning May 1st, vaccinated citizens from approved visa waiver countries, including the United States will be able to travel to New Zealand and self-test upon arrival.
A negative covid test will still be required to enter the country, but the mandatory quarantine upon arrival will no longer be necessary. International travelers will still be required to apply and obtain a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA) if traveling from a visa waiver country.
Some New Zealand ski resorts have set an opening day as soon as June 10th — just a month after travel restrictions for most countries will be lifted. After closing down in 2019, combined with strict border closures, New Zealand ski areas have had fewer visits from international travelers. With the potential of increased visitation due to recent lax travel restrictions, the 2022 season is looking promising.
Many countries are beginning to relax Covid-19-related travel restrictions. For Northern Hemisphere skiers and riders looking to make summer skiing plans, New Zealand will be a viable option. The country’s snowy volcanic slopes will soon be accessible to foreigners for the first time in two years.