WELLINGTON (DPA): New Zealand announced it will reopen its border to all international travelers starting Sunday after shutting it to almost all arrivals in March 2020.
At the start of May, vaccinated travelers from visa-waiver countries, including the European Union, the United States and Britain, were able to enter New Zealand again.
The final part of the border reopening on Sunday night means the country will open for all travelers needing visas – including tourists, workers, families and students, Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said.
“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.”
The maritime border will also reopen, allowing cruise ships to visit the country.
“We’ve heard optimistic messages from tourism operators who are ready to welcome back international visitors from all over the world,” Nash said.
Visitors to New Zealand will be required to self-test for COVID-19 on arrival and again on Day 5 of their stay and most will need to be vaccinated.
Immigration Minister Michael Wood said the changes in border settings meant the resumption of key visa categories, including for students. Prior to the pandemic, the international education sector was worth several billion dollars to the country, Wood said.
“As we warmly welcome the world back to our shores, it’s the perfect time to showcase New Zealand to the world,” he said.
New Zealand, a country of some 5 million people, has reported more than 1.6 million cases of COVID-19 and some 1,400 deaths since the onset of the pandemic.
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