New Zealand fully reopens its borders after long pandemic closure


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

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern who called it an “enormous moment”, says immigration authorities will now begin accepting visitors with visas and those on student visas again.

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

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

“It’s been a staged and cautious process on our part since February as 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 during a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland on Monday.

Borders were reopened the previous night to visitors who need visas, and those on student visas are now also allowed to return to New Zealand. Cruise ships and foreign recreational yachts will also be allowed to dock at its ports.

Most visitors are still required to be vaccinated against COVID-19, and must take two tests after arriving. However, the quarantine requirements for those testing negative have been removed.

In the Pacific, the federated states of Micronesia and the Marshall Islands also announced they would be opening their borders as of Monday.

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