After A Protracted Pandemic Shutdown, New Zealand's Borders Are Again Completely Open
For the first time since the COVID-19 epidemic closed them in March 2020, New Zealand's borders completely reopened to tourists from across the globe on Monday.
For New Zealanders, the borders began to reopen in February, and restrictions have gradually loosened.
Last night, the process of reopening the borders came to a finish, and those who need visas and those with student visas may now also go back to New Zealand.
Now, cruise liners and foreign yachts used for enjoyment are permitted to dock in New Zealand.
The immigration officials have resumed admitting visa-holding travelers and those with student visas.
It was a "enormous occasion," according to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, who also noted that it was a "cautious process."
There are no quarantine rules, although the majority of tourists will still need to be properly immunized.
The nation's marine border has also been restored, allowing cruise liners and international pleasure boats to dock.
A planned gradual reopening was initially introduced by New Zealand in February. It permitted immunized people to leave Australia that month and to come back from overseas in March.
It began to accept visitors in May from more than 50 nations on a list exempt from visa requirements.
Prior to COVID, residents of Australia and New Zealand have been able to travel freely between the two nations since the 1920s.
However, New Zealand has been enforcing some of the harshest border restrictions in the world for the last two years, which has caused problems for the tens of thousands of NZ nationals who reside in Australia.
The projected number of New Zealanders living in Australia as of mid-2018 was 568,000, making them the fourth-largest immigrant group.
Economically, tourism was New Zealand's top export sector, and prior to the epidemic, a significant part of its visitors were Australians.
There were 1.5 million arrivals from Australia in 2019, accounting for 40% of all overseas tourists to New Zealand, who spent around $NZ2.7 billion ($2.5 billion). Nearly one in ten New Zealanders were directly engaged in the tourism industry.
New Zealanders were the second-largest market for tourists entering Australia in 2019 and it worked both ways.
New Zealand has gradually resumed tourism, first welcoming Australians in March and then Americans, Britons, and visitors from more than 50 other nations in May.
- Beginning on July 31, New Zealand will welcome all visitors from abroad.
- According to Jacinda Arden, the last steps included allowing cruise ships and international yachts dock in the nation and welcoming back people with student visas.
- When covid-19 initially struck, the nation implemented some of the tightest border restrictions in the world.
The harsh Covid regulations in New Zealand had a particularly negative impact on the tourism industry.
The industry's share of the GDP decreased from 5.5 percent to 2.9 percent in the year ending March 2021.
According to official figures, the amount spent on international tourism fell by 91.5 percent, or NZ$16.2 billion ($10.2 billion; £8.4 billion), to NZ$1.5 billion.
Over 72,000 fewer persons were directly working in the tourist industry during this time.
The majority of travellers still require two covid tests after arriving in New Zealand and must have a covid vaccination. There are no quarantine regulations, however.
The final phased opening of the borders had been a huge event, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Monday during an address at the China Business Summit in Auckland.