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WELLINGTON, Nov 24 (Reuters) – New Zealand will keep its borders closed to most international travelers for another five months, the government said on Wednesday, describing a cautious easing of border restrictions that have been in place. force since the COVID-19 strike in March. 2020.
Along with its geographical isolation, the South Pacific country implemented some of the strictest pandemic restrictions among OECD nations, limiting the spread of COVID-19 and helping its economy recover faster than many of its peers.
But an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant earlier this year has forced a change in strategy, with the main Auckland city now only gradually opening up as vaccination rates rise.
Fully vaccinated international travelers will be allowed to enter the country from April 30, 2022 onwards, with the reopening organized over time, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins told a news conference.
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders and visa holders in neighboring Australia can travel to New Zealand from 16 January, while vaccinated New Zealanders and visa holders in most other countries will be allowed to enter from 13 in short.
“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensuring that risk is carefully managed,” Hipkins said.
“This reduces any potential impact on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.”
Travelers will no longer be required to stay in quarantine state facilities, he said, but other measures will be put in place, including a negative pre-departure test, full vaccination tests and a COVID-19 test upon arrival.
Reporting by Praveen Menon; Edited by Tom Hogue and Lincoln Feast
Our standards: Principles of Trust by Thomson Reuters.
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