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New Zealand's borders fully open after pandemic closure


New Zealand's borders fully open after pandemic closure

New Zealand’s borders fully reopened Monday (Aug 1), but the return of international visitors and students is only expected to start with a trickle following the lifting of Covid-based travel restrictions.

New Zealand's borders are fully open for the first time since March 2020, when they shut in an effort to keep out Covid-19.

Immigration authorities will now begin accepting visitors with visas and those on student visas again.

Most visitors will still need to be fully vaccinated, but there are no quarantine requirements.

The country's maritime border has also reopened, with cruise ships and foreign recreational yachts now allowed to dock.

New Zealand first announced a phased reopening plan in February. It allowed vaccinated citizens to return from Australia that month, and those coming from elsewhere to return in March.

In May, it started welcoming tourists from more than 50 countries on a visa-waiver list.

"We, alongside the rest of the world, continue to manage a very live global pandemic, while keeping our people safe," said Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland on Monday.

"But keeping people safe extends to incomes and wellbeing too."

Tourism was one of the industries hardest hit by New Zealand's tough Covid measures.

(Compiled)

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