WELLINGTON, New Zealand: After being shut since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, New Zealand's borders fully re-opened to foreign visitors this week.
However, most visitors will still need to be vaccinated against COVID and must take two COVID tests after arriving. Also, there are no longer quarantine requirements.
The process of reopening the borders ended this week as visitors who need visas and those on student visas are now allowed to return to New Zealand. New Zealand is also allowing cruise ships and foreign recreational yachts to again dock at its ports.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week, during a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland, that the final staged opening of the borders had been a much anticipated moment.
"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."
Also, New Zealand Tourism Minister Stuart Nash said the return of cruise ships will be a boost for local industries.
"Most cruise visits are during the warmer months of October to April, and summer is our bumper tourism season, overall. This means it will be full steam ahead for the industry," said Nash.