Covid: New Zealand unveils phased border reopening plan – BBC

New Zealand has announced a phased reopening of its borders, as the country starts to ease some of the world's toughest Covid restrictions.
Vaccinated citizens in Australia can go home from 27 February without needing to undergo state mandatory hotel quarantine.
Jabbed citizens elsewhere will be allowed in from 13 March, said PM Jacinda Ardern.
People will still have to self-isolate for 10 days but can do so at home.
The announcement comes after growing criticism of Wellington's controversial closed-border policy to keep out the coronavirus.
New Zealand's borders have been shut for nearly two years due to the pandemic.
In that period, the country of five million people has recorded 53 deaths and about 17,000 Covid cases – very low numbers compared to the rest of the world.
But while the closed border policy has been popular domestically, New Zealanders overseas said it had made it near impossible to go home.
The huge demand for hotel quarantine spots shut many Kiwis out.
"We have missed a lot of big life events such as weddings and funerals but more than anything just miss seeing family and friends," said Joe Mulcare, who lives in Singapore.
"I'm really happy that I now have the opportunity to get home but have felt a lot of frustration and confusion over New Zealand's halted approach when the rest of the world is moving on with opening up and co-existing with Covid."
The difficulties faced by stranded New Zealanders was also highlighted this week by the case of a pregnant reporter, who said she had to turn to the Taliban to ask if she could give birth in Afghanistan, after her initial request to return home was rejected.
New Zealand's re-opening will be in five stages.
"Opening back up in this managed way balances inflows of travellers so people can reunite and fill our workforce shortages, while also ensuring our healthcare system can manage an increase in cases," Ms Ardern said in a speech in Auckland on Thursday.
The prime minister said there was "life before" the virus but "there will be life after Covid too".
"We are well on our way to reaching that destination. But we are not quite there yet," she stressed.
The key elements of the plan are as follows:
Since the emergence of the Delta variant, Ms Ardern has switched from a Covid elimination strategy to pushing for higher vaccination rates and treating the virus as endemic.
It is thought that about 94% of the country's population over the age of 12 is fully vaccinated and 56% of eligible people have had their boosters.
This video can not be played
Are you affected by issues covered in this story? Share your experiences by emailing
Please include a contact number if you are willing to speak to a BBC journalist. You can also get in touch in the following ways:
If you are reading this page and can't see the form you will need to visit the mobile version of the BBC website to submit your question or comment or you can email us at Please include your name, age and location with any submission.
Where do new Covid variants come from?
NZ to allow in pregnant reporter helped by Taliban
New Zealand PM cancels wedding amid Covid spike
New Zealand to reopen to vaccinated visitors
Pacific island goes into first ever lockdown
How New Zealand went 'hard and early' to beat Covid-19
Russia attacks key Ukraine cities as invasion intensifies
Watching the war on Russian TV – a whole different story
Biden to Putin: You have no idea what's coming
'I have never felt so much love for my homeland'
What message was Biden sending to Putin?
Watching the war on Russian TV – a whole different story
Putin's miscalculations mean he could strike harder
What Americans think of Biden's Ukraine response. Video
What is a 'vacuum' bomb?
Why a Ukraine no-fly zone is a no-go for the West
How many nuclear weapons does Russia have?
BBC Travel: Italy's rare, surprisingly bitter honey
'You'd think I would've done something about it'
Comedian Dara O'Briain on why he can’t speak slowly!
The Mystery of Anthrax Island
How shadowy Scot activists used deadly anthrax to get a Scottish island cleaned up
Time's up for Gray
Get ready for a dramatic week of EastEnders
© 2022 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read about our approach to external linking.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.