New Zealand reopen to visitors from 60 visa waiver countries

Source: 1News

In a significant milestone, New Zealand's borders have opened to international visitors from 60 countries for the first time in more than two years.

File picture.

People vaccinated against Covid-19 from 60 visa waiver countries can officially travel to and enter New Zealand as of midnight on Sunday.

The Government closed New Zealand's borders early in 2020 in an effort to keep Covid-19 out of the country as the pandemic began sweeping across the globe.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said the border re-opening is an integral part of strengthening New Zealand's economy after the last two years.

“We are currently seeing around 33,000 arrivals per week and we know today’s changes will further boost arrivals as interest in travel to New Zealand remains high. International flight searches to NZ are running 19 per cent higher than pre-Covid," Nash said.

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New Zealand welcomed vaccinated Australian tourists and some international students back in April, ahead of the school holidays.

Aotearoa's borders closed on March 19, 2020 after the first Covid-19 case in New Zealand was detected in February 2020.

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It was the first time in New Zealand's history such an extreme move was made, with the ban also including Pacific countries.

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi said: “The government continues to review New Zealand’s Reconnecting strategy to see if and when it might be possible to bring forward final steps of the Reconnecting plan sooner than previously signalled."