New Zealand fully reopens to foreign travellers for first time since pandemic

New Zealand has reopened is borders to international travellers for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The country will now start to accept all visitors, including those from non-visa waiver countries and international students.

The change in border settings marks the final milestone for the country’s reconnecting strategy. 

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern called it an “enormous moment”, adding it was part of a “cautious process”.

The New Zealand government said: “This is great news to the tourism industry and economy as we approach spring and summer with people from the northern hemisphere booking their winter holidays. 

“We have heard optimistic messages from tourism operators who are ready to welcome back international visitors from all over the world.”

The country also reopened its the maritime border to cruise ships.

However, passengers will be asked for proof of vaccination.

Cruise calls were worth more than NZ$500 million a year pre-pandemic, of which NZ$356 million was spent onshore.

“Most cruise visits are during the warmer months of October to April, and summer is our bumper tourism season overall,” the government said. 

“This means it will be full steam ahead for the industry who can plan with certainty for the rest of the year and beyond.”

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