24 Nov 2021

Covid-19: Government's border reopening plan stirs mixed emotions

3:47 pm on 24 November 2021

New Zealanders have taken to social media to express their emotions following this afternoon's announcement that the country's most restrictive border controls will be eased early next year.

Qatar Airlines flight crew members walking past an illuminated sign displaying a message relating to the Covid-19 novel coronavirus at the Sydney International Airport in Sydney, October 2020.

International tourism will be back on the cards early next year as New Zealand's border restrictions start to ease. Photo: AFP

Most fully vaccinated travellers into New Zealand would not be required to go through managed isolation from early next year, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins revealed.

He said the country was now in a position to start moving back to normality, but reiterated that travel in 2022 would still be different.

Many on social media were delighted at the news and shared what it would mean for themselves, their friends and their family.

But some questioned the workability of the seven-day self-isolation requirement that would take the place of MIQ.

And National MP Chris Bishop called the decision not to allow New Zealand citizens in Australia to come home without having to quarantine until mid-January "truly pathetic".

Unveiling the government's three-phase plan to reopen the border, Hipkins said it was the safest approach and would allow the booster shot rollout to get underway and give regions time to increase their vaccination rates.

Fully vaccinated New Zealanders would be able to travel from Australia without having to quarantine from 11.59pm on 16 January, and from 11.59pm on 13 February that would extend to fully vaccinated New Zealanders from all countries.

From 30 April, all fully vaccinated foreigner travellers would also be able to come to this country without having to quarantine, though proof of vaccination would be required.

All travellers not required to go into MIQ would still require:

  • a negative pre-departure test
  • proof of being fully vaccinated
  • a passenger declaration about travel history
  • a day 0/1 test on arrival
  • a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and a final negative test before entering the community

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