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New Zealanders stranded overseas and those longing to reunite with friends and family are rejoicing over the country's announcement that it will begin reopening its borders early next year. This will be done in the following stages:

  • 16th January: the first group allowed to return are fully vaccinated NZ citizens coming from Australia
  • 13th February: next, New Zealanders coming from all other countries
  • 30th April: foreign nationals will be last to enter although those from areas deemed "high risk", currently only Papua New Guinea, will not yet be able to cross the border.

All travellers must be double-jabbed and are required to take a COVID-19 test and self-isolate at home for seven days upon their arrival. Fortunately, though, the country is doing away with its strict system of managed quarantine hotels. Although these measures helped limit the spread of the pandemic in New Zealand, many of the citizens trying to return home criticized them due to the limited number of spaces available and extortionate cost.

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To quell the spread of coronavirus, New Zealand was one of the first countries to ban entry to all non-residents in March 2020. The strict pandemic restrictions enforced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern were praised by many, and the island nation was able to keep deaths to a minimum and mend its economy much quicker than many of its peers.

However, New Zealand struggled to beat back the highly contagious Delta variant earlier this year, and its government was forced to change tack from a zero-COVID policy to one that limited the spread of the virus. Now, although there's still a long road ahead back to normal, the country has administered over 7.39 million doses of the COVID-19 vaccine, and 69.5% of their nearly six million population are fully vaccinated.

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About the author



Lizzy is a member of the marketing team here at Seven Seas Worldwide. She has over ten years of experience writing for print and digital and is incredibly passionate about creating content that both entertains customers and answers their queries.