Intending to reconnect NZ back to the world, the government has unveiled a plan to relax the present border settings. As an infrastructure backup to accommodate the volume, the authority has lifted the MIQ arrangement by implementing a series of safety measures including a compulsory 7 days home quarantine. This gainful initiative offers several incentives for the people who weren't able to travel to New Zealand in the past 2 years because of the covid caused border closure.
This will be a phased approach to ensure the risk is carefully managed by reducing any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.
According to the new plan,
From 11.59 pm Sunday, 16 January 2022 onwards fully vaccinated New Zealand Citizens, residence-class visa holders and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from Australia without staying in MIQ.
From 11.59 pm Sunday, 13 February 2022 onwards fully vaccinated New Zealand Citizens and other eligible travellers can travel to NZ from all other countries.
From 30 April 2022 onwards fully vaccinated individuals will be able to travel to NZ.
It is notable that the ' High-Risk classification' of Indonesia, Fiji, India, Pakistan and Brazil will be removed from early December and travellers from these countries will be able to enter New Zealand on the same basis as travellers from most other countries.
The government is extra cautious about the plan because the pandemic cases are surging in some parts of the world. The border will open in three steps and all travellers not required to go into MIQ will still require:
a negative pre-departure test
proof of being fully vaccinated
a passenger declaration about travel history
a day 0/1 test on arrival
a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and
a final negative test before entering the community
The dates for opening of borders logically follows the bedding in of the traffic light system, the lifting of the Auckland border, time for regions to get their vaccination rates higher still and for booster shots to be rolled out. Further details on self-isolation implementation will be made available in December including guidance on how people can travel from their arrival airport to their location of self-isolation and requirements for the places where they can self-isolate etc.
The MIQ system which served more than 190,000 people since the borders closed in March 2020 will not be shut down completely. Agencies will work with airlines on implementing checks of passengers’ compliance with travel requirements, including vaccination status and pre-departure testing, ahead of a rollout of a digital Traveller Health Declaration System (THDS) towards the end of March. The COVID-19 situation in other countries will continue to be monitored as part of a regular surveillance and assessment process.