NZ axes isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers starting this week

The busy Auckland International Airport in pre-Covid times

The New Zealand Government will be lifting all self-isolation requirements for fully vaccinated New Zealanders and eligible visa holders entering the country from Australia starting from 23.59 on March 2.

This will be followed by vaccinated New Zealanders and eligible travellers from anywhere in the world from 23.59 on March 4. This is Step 2 of the border reopening, and timings of the remaining steps will be reviewed in the coming weeks.

The busy Auckland International Airport in pre-Covid times

Travellers will still be required to have a negative pre-departure test, and undertake two rapid antigen tests on arrival and on day 5/6. Travellers who return a positive result will be required to report it and isolate for the same period as a community case.

Managed isolation will remain for unvaccinated New Zealanders and some community cases.

Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA) welcomed the announcement, where chief executive Lisa Hopkins called it a “great start in reconnecting New Zealand to the world”.

“For the past two years, our industry has felt like it has been in a permanent lockdown. We have a significant number of business events in a holding pattern because of current international border settings and, as a consequence, many New Zealanders here at home are still unsure of their future,” she said, adding the industry can now plan for its recovery from Covid-19.

Border cases have been decreasing over the past month, both in number and as a proportion of arriving travellers. The seven-day average for border cases at the weekend was 9.4, compared with a seven-day average of around 6,700 for cases in the community.

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