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Border reopening in five steps

Automotive businesses among many industries hoping relaxation of Covid rules will help address skills shortages.
Posted on 04 February, 2022
Border reopening in five steps

New Zealand’s international border will reopen in five stages from the end of the month, with the ability to self-isolate at home available for most travellers returning to the country.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern detailed the government’s plans for travellers on February 3, after nearly two years of tough restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, saying “New Zealanders need to reconnect with one another”.

Vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents travelling from Australia will be able to return from 11.59pm on February 27.

Two weeks later the border reopens to Kiwis in the rest of the world and those on working holiday visas.

Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) is being replaced by self-isolation and Covid-19 tests on arrival for most travellers, although the system will remain in place for unvaccinated people. 

Businesses hope the move will help address skills shortages across a number of industries, with the automotive sector among those keen to find more workers after struggling to fill posts since the borders shut. 

The third stage of reopening kicks in from 11.59pm on April 12 when international students and offshore temporary visa holders who still meet the necessary requirements can come into the country.

At this point, exceptions for some critical workers will also be considered.

At some point in July, anyone from Australia and people eligible for visa-waiver travel will be able to enter New Zealand and the border is set to fully reopen in October.

For more details about New Zealand’s border plan, click here.