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All countries that have visa-free arrangements with New Zealand will be able to enjoy quarantine-free travel into the country soon as well

This story was first published on August 13, 2021, and updated on March 22, 2022. 

As the world slowly begins to reopen its borders to vaccinated travellers, New Zealand has announced that travellers from countries that have visa-free arrangements with New Zealand will be allowed to enter the country from May 1 (and yes, that includes Singapore).

In an announcement by New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Arden on March 16, it was said that New Zealand will scrap its strict border controls because the country’s world-leading pandemic response has made it “a safe place to visit”.

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“We’re ready to welcome the world back. I’m proud that New Zealand is a country able at this moment in time to provide a safe place for our tourists to return to,” Ardern told reporters.

This arrangement will begin with Australia on April 12. Vaccinated Australians can enter New Zealand without needing to undergo quarantine or self-isolation.

This will be expanded to countries with visa-free arrangements with New Zealand such as Singapore, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan and the Northern Hemisphere from May 1.

This move is expected to provide a major and much-needed boost for New Zealand’s struggling tourism industry.

“We are ready to safely move into a new chapter of our management of the pandemic, this change brings with it huge economic opportunities,” she said.

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New Zealand is a country that typically sees high volumes of tourists and welcomed 3.9 million international arrivals in 2019. However, it was forced to shut its borders in 2020 as Covid-19 swept the world. 

Since then, all international arrivals, if they were even given permission to enter, had to undergo two weeks of quarantine in government-run hotel facilities.

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This strategy worked and for much of the pandemic, New Zealand was able to maintain low Covid-19 case numbers. Unfortunately, now, like much of the world, New Zealand is currently experiencing a wave of Omicron-variant infections and is reporting higher Covid-19 numbers. 

That said, New Zealand’s population is highly vaccinated with 95 per cent of the country fully protected and only 117 Covid-19 related deaths recorded in the last few years. 

Unfortunately, it looks like travellers from countries that require visas to enter New Zealand will have to wait a while longer to be allowed to travel into the country without the need for quarantine. Currently, they must still self isolate for 10 days upon their arrival. 

This is likely to remain unchanged till at least October this year though Arden mentioned that they are looking to move the date forward. 


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