New Zealand Ready to Welcome Foreign Travellers in Phases By 2022

New Zealand Ready to Welcome Foreign Travellers in Phases By Next Year!

There's finally hope to visit New Zealand in 2022.

One of the strictest countries in the world in border restrictions is finally easing up. New Zealand, which is one of the few nations that is able to go weeks with zero COVID-19 cases, has decided to rely on the natural shield of COVID-19 vaccines and open up its borders in phases in 2022. 

Also read: 10 Fantastic Reasons Why You Should Visit New Zealand

New Zealand slowly reopens to the world

Image credit: Michael

According to CNN, the home of the Lord of the Rings trilogy will allow fully vaccinated citizens, residents, and tourists to enter New Zealand slowly but surely. COVID-19 response minister Chris Hipkins added that the first international travellers allowed to enter New Zealand will be its own residents coming from Australia, starting 16 Jan 2022. New Zealanders coming from the rest of the world will be welcomed back on 13 Feb 2022. 

International travellers who come from low-risk countries and are fully vaccinated may enter New Zealand starting 30 Apr 2022. “A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure the risk is carefully managed. It reduces the potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system,” said Hipkins in a news conference on Wednesday.

To date, New Zealand’s COVID-19 numbers are impressively contained, with less than 11,000 confirmed cases and just 40 deaths. However, it came at a cost, as an estimate of one million New Zealanders living overseas weren’t able to come home since the pandemic began. That means each New Zealand resident likely has at least one relative or friend living abroad whom they haven’t seen in almost two years. Most residents living abroad reportedly found it too difficult to fly back home since the government-run quarantine facilities were very limited. 

New Zealand travellers

Image credit: Walter Walraven

With the ease in restrictions, New Zealand is requiring everyone to isolate at home for seven days, show proof of vaccination, a negative PCR test result, and a declaration that they haven’t been to a high-risk country. “We will eventually reach a point where people will be able to move much more freely across the border and those periods of self isolation won’t be required. We’re not at that point yet,” Hipkins concluded.

Also read: 13 Filipino Restaurants You Should Visit in New Zealand!

It seemed to take forever for us to hear news about New Zealand finally opening up to the world again. We’re happy to see this progress unfold by next year. Who knows? You might be flying to Middle-Earth before 2022 ends!

Featured image credit: Rod Long | Unsplash

About Author

Therese Sta. Maria
Therese Sta. Maria

Therese's close friends know that if they haven’t seen her around recently, then she’s probably having an adventure with her luggage and camera in hand. Though she loves staying at home and spending lazy afternoons with friends, there are times when she has to be "away from home to feel at home," — that’s when she’s bitten by the travel bug. See her travels on Instagram @reesstamaria.