Jacinda Arden has decided to scrap quarantine requirements for returning Kiwis, admitting that the number of Covid cases in New Zealand is now so high it makes little sense to insist on draconian border controls. MailOnline has more.
New Zealanders will finally be able to freely come and go from their island fortress in just a few days with the borders finally opening just a crack.
Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced on Monday there will be no required quarantine for vaccinated New Zealanders returning home from March 3rd.
Kiwis stuck in Australia through the Covid pandemic have finally been able to get back home after being locked out for months.
Kiwis in Australia could already return to New Zealand without quarantine from Monday, February 28th, as part of NZ’s staggered opening scheme.
Travellers from the rest of the world were required to complete seven days of self-isolation, but that will be scrapped from Thursday for all countries of arrival.
New Zealand created a five step plan for reopening its borders, with Monday’s announcement marking an acceleration of step two.
Covid Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the change allowed Kiwis to immediately reconnect with their loved ones.
“Cabinet has agreed to lift all self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers entering New Zealand,” he said.
“That means that all Kiwis coming home and tourists entering the country will be able to step off the plane and immediately connect with family and friends and enjoy all New Zealand has to offer.”
Quarantine-free travel had initially been planned for March 13th but Ms Ardern said high cases in NZ meant the date could be brought forward.
“We’ve wanted to make sure that we’re carefully easing up the border so that we don’t over-burden our health system, but with so many cases in New Zealand now, it makes sense to look at those settings,” she said.
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