New Zealand reopens its borders completely after the pandemic

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The measure includes tourists who require visas, including Chinese, as well as international students, the New Zealand government said in a statement released on Sunday.

New Zealand began to progressively reopen its international borders last February, but at first entry into the country was only allowed to citizens returning from abroad, under a government plan.

As of today, however, the entry of all visitors is authorized, although on the condition that they present a vaccination certificate or an approved exemption.

“This is great news for the tourism sector and the economy as we approach spring and summer with people from the northern hemisphere booking their winter holidays,” New Zealand Tourism Minister Stuart Nash was quoted as saying in the note.

Opening to Foreign Students

The measure also gives the green light to the entry into the country to cruise ships – the arrival of the first of them scheduled for August 12 at the port of Auckland – as well as the resumption of all teaching activities to foreign students.

Before the pandemic, the education sector targeting foreigners contributed some NZ$5 billion (US$3.146 billion or €3.072 billion) to the country’s economy, an amount that fell by almost 75 per cent last year, according to Radio New Zealand.

New Zealand shielded its borders from March 2020 and even delayed the return of its own nationals by imposing a daily entry quota with the aim of preventing the virus from spreading through the country.

In early February, the authorities announced a five-stage reopening plan that began on the 28th of that month, by lifting the daily limit for the return of New Zealanders.

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New Zealand, which has vaccinated 96 percent of the target population with two doses, has accumulated more than 1.6 million cases and more than 1,500 deaths since the beginning of the pandemic.

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