After three years, the world was surprised by the news about New Zealand borders opening to visitors from more than 60 countries, bringing an end to one of the most stringent COVID-19 restrictions in the world.
Since 2020, New Zealand has maintained a partial border restriction, denying admission and departure to all passengers save those claiming urgent need.
Previously planned to begin in July, vaccinated travelers from Australia will now be able to enter the nation without being isolated as of April 13.
Vaccinated visitors from other visa-exempt countries, including Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Germany, Japan, Singapore, Spain, the United Kingdom, the United States, Uruguay, and more than 60 others, will be permitted to enter the country beginning May 2.
“We are ready to welcome the world,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said. “New Zealand will be ready with open arms.”
The news will be welcomed by the country’s tourist and hospitality industries, many of which have battled to withstand the border closures. According to Tourism Industry Aotearoa, total tourism expenditure in 2021 will be down 37% (a loss of $15.6 billion) from the previous year.
The number of foreign travelers at Auckland Airport has dropped by more than 90% to 2900 per day, down from 30,000 before the COVID-19 epidemic.
Air New Zealand welcomed the development and stated that it was prepared to boost services to satisfy demand.
“It’s no secret that the last two years have been extremely turbulent for people, there’s a lot of upheavals today,” said Greg Foran, CEO of the airline.
While the Omicron form is still present in various parts of the world, the New Zealand population is largely immunized, with more than 95 percent having received doses.
Visitors from nations requiring visas to enter New Zealand, including most Caribbean and Latin American countries (excluding Argentina, Chile, Brazil, and Uruguay), India, and China, should self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival.
What airlines operate in New Zealand?
Australia just reopened its borders, and New Zealand’s announcement opens the road to re-connect one of the Asia-Pacific region’s most sought-after foreign marketplaces.
Following the news, Qantas Group released their itinerary. Qantas and Jetstar will fly up to 30 flights per week over the Tasman Sea on five routes, an increase from the existing two flights per week. Nonetheless, the numbers are a long cry from the 170 flights a week that existed before to the epidemic between Australia and New Zealand.
Qantas will use a combination of Boeing 737-800 and Airbus A330 aircraft to fly daily from Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, to Auckland and Sydney to Christchurch.
Jetstar will fly three times each week from the Gold Coast to Auckland, utilizing an Airbus A320.
Qantas and Jetstar will enhance airline capacity even more in May and June by restarting flights from Australia to Wellington and Queenstown.
On March 29, LATAM will restart flights from Santiago de Chile to Auckland, reuniting New Zealand with South America. It will have three weekly flights, triangulated with Sydney, Australia, then five weekly flights beginning in July.
Aircalin, Air Vanuatu, Cathay Pacific, China Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern Airlines, Fiji Airways, Korean Air, Malaysia Airlines, and Singapore Airlines are the other airlines that now operate in New Zealand. Hawaiian Airlines, Air Tahiti Nui, and United Airlines are among the airlines set to return between June and July.
For the Easter vacation, Air New Zealand boosted its flights to Australia. Following that, with the exception of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Denpasar, Indonesia, it will progressively re-establish its foreign destinations.
New Zealand Entry Requirements
To board a trip to New Zealand beginning April 13 for Australians and May 2 for visitors with visa exemption, the following documentation must be presented:
- To board an overseas flight, customers must provide their International Certificate of Vaccination.
- Prior to leaving, the government demands documentation of a negative RAT, LAMP, or PCR test. Deadlines may be found on the Covid-19 website.
- Prior to departure, all travellers must complete the New Zealand travel declaration.
- Visitors from visa-free countries must get a NZeTA before traveling.
- Those with stopovers should verify with the airline they are flying with.