On 3 February 2022, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins and Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi announced the Government’s recovering plan to reconnect New Zealanders and key visa holders with the country over the coming three months. This action will assist with the economic recovery and immediately address worker shortages which the New Zealand labour market is facing currently.
The country will open the border for the New Zealanders living in Australia from 27 February and for the rest of the world from 13 March. MIQ will be effectively removed for most of the vaccinated travellers by prompting self-isolation and tests on arrival. MIQ will stay as a mandatory precaution for unvaccinated travellers. This will prioritise the return of New Zealanders and the much-needed entry of skilled workers.
The recovery plan was made possible by the strategic covid response of New Zealand. The country currently has 94% of its population fully vaccinated and by the end of February, 92% of 18 years and old will be eligible for booster shots. This phased approach of reopening borders is believed to reduce the risk of an uncontrolled surge of cases.