New Zealand’s borders will fully reopen to visitors from non-visa waiver countries on Sunday night.
From one minute to midnight on July 31, people from around the world will once again be able to enter New Zealand, marking the government's final step in re-opening the country after more than two years of closed borders due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
While the country has been open to a large number of visa-waiver countries since April 2021, it remained closed for many.
Tourism Minister Stuart Nash hopes that the full reopening of borders will give the tourism industry a boost with people from around the world making New Zealand their choice of destination when travelling.
“This is great news to the tourism industry and economy as we approach spring and summer with people from the Northern hemisphere booking their winter holidays,
“We’ve heard optimistic messages from tourism operators who are ready to welcome back international visitors from all over the world,” Nash said.
Cruise ships and recreational yachts will also be allowed to dock in New Zealand ports.
Stuart Nash hopes this will provide an essential boost to local communities across the country.
“Pre-pandemic their visits were worth in excess of $500 million a year, of which $356 million was spent onshore, providing a valuable economic contribution to our regions,” he said.
International students will be able to apply for visas in New Zealand.
Minister of Education Michael Wood said that “prior to the pandemic, the international education sector was worth several billion dollars to our country and education providers,”
“While we’ve continued to support the sector with border exceptions through the pandemic, the full resumption of visa processing is great news for our universities, polytechnics and wānanga, and schools, English language schools, and private training establishments,” Wood said.
Both Ministers said they are excited to welcome visitors back to Aotearoa.