New Zealand has made the long-awaited announcement of their border opening, with Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealing that most Australians will need to wait until July until they travel quarantine-free to New Zealand.
Vaccinated New Zealanders will be able to return home quarantine free from February 27, with New Zealand citizens around the world also able to do the same two weeks later.
Following this, some skilled workers, international students and other temporary visa holders will be allowed into the country.
However, Australian tourists will not be allowed in until July and international tourists will be kept out until October, with these dates subject to change if the world’s pandemic outlook improves.
Ms Arden said: “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.”
“With our community better protected we must turn to the importance of reconnection. Families and friends need to reunite. Our businesses need skills to grow. Exporters need to travel to make new connections.”
Instead of facing hotel quarantine, arrivals will now be able to self-isolate for 10 days. Arrivals will receive rapid antigen tests at the airport and will need to test on day one of their isolation and then again on day five or six.
New Zealand has previously scrapped two planned border openings, due to variants of Delta and Omicron and respectively.
New Zealand reported 147 new community cases of COVID on February 3.
July and August are generally the best time to go skiing in New Zealand, making the announcement a well-timed one for snow lovers, with most ski resorts opening from mid June to early July and closing in early October.
Explore more: newzealand.com