28 February 2024

New Zealand to reconnect with world from next year, starting with Australia

By: Gurbir Singh

New Zealand is re-opening its borders for fully vaccinated Kiwis and other travellers from rest of the world in a phased manner from mid-next year.

Fully vaccinated New Zealanders will find it easier to come home from January 2022, with foreign nationals to follow from April onwards, as the Government removes the requirement for MIQ for most travellers, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today.

India is one of the five nations that have been removed from list of ‘Very High Risk’ classification from early next month.

The border will open in three steps, and following are details around when travellers can enter New Zealand without going into MIQ:      

In the first step, “border will open with Australia for fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current settings from 11.59 pm on 16 January 2022 (provided they have been in Australia or New Zealand for the past 14 days)”

The second step will see “fully vaccinated citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings, from all but Very High-Risk countries, enter New Zealand from 11.59pm Sunday 13 February.”

In Step 3, “fully vaccinated foreign nationals (possibly staged by visa category), will be able to enter the country from 30 April onwards.”

“A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed. This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system,”Chris Hipkins said.

“The Very High-Risk classification for Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil will be removed early next month. This will allow New Zealand Citizens and those residence-class visa holders and other travellers eligible under our current border settings to travel directly into New Zealand.

“We always said we’d open in a controlled way, and this started with halving the time spent in MIQ to seven days. Retaining a seven-day isolate at home period for fully vaccinated travellers is an important phase in the reconnecting strategy to provide continued safety assurance. These settings will continue to be reviewed against the risk posed by travellers entering New Zealand.”

The three steps constitute a medium risk pathway. Those who don’t meet the requirements for medium-risk pathway, but are still permitted to enter New Zealand under current border settings, will continue to enter MIQ upon arrival under the new regime of seven days in managed isolation, followed by three days of home isolation.   

All travellers not required to go into MIQ will still require:

  • a negative pre-departure test
  • proof of being fully vaccinated
  • a day 0/1 test on arrival
  • a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and
  • a final negative test before entering the community

More detail will be available in December for people holding existing MIAS vouchers for MIQ dates after the steps commence and on self-isolation for groups.


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