New Zealand welcomes back tourists as COVID-19 border restrictions ease after 2 years | CBC News


New Zealand welcomed vacationers from Canada, the U.S., Britain, Japan and greater than 50 different nations for the primary time in additional than two years Monday after dropping most of its remaining pandemic border restrictions.

The nation has lengthy been famend for its breathtaking surroundings and journey tourism choices resembling bungee leaping and snowboarding. Earlier than the unfold of COVID-19, greater than three million vacationers visited annually, accounting for 20 per cent of New Zealand’s international earnings and greater than 5 per cent of the general financial system.

However worldwide tourism stopped altogether in early 2020 after New Zealand imposed among the world’s hardest border restrictions.

The border guidelines remained in place as the federal government at first pursued an elimination technique after which tried to tightly management the unfold of the virus. The unfold of omicron and vaccinations of greater than 80 per cent of New Zealand’s 5 million inhabitants prompted the gradual easing of restrictions.

Reopened to Australia final month

New Zealand reopened to vacationers from Australia three weeks in the past and on Monday to about 60 visa-waiver nations, together with a lot of Europe. Most vacationers from India, China and different non-waiver nations are nonetheless not allowed to enter.

Vacationers will have to be vaccinated and to check themselves for the virus earlier than and after arriving.

“In the present day is a day to rejoice, and is a giant second in our reconnection with the world,” mentioned Tourism Minister Stuart Nash.

At Auckland Airport, flights bringing in vacationers started touchdown from early within the morning, coming in direct from locations together with Los Angeles, San Francisco, Kuala Lumpur, and Singapore.

New Zealand welcomed vacationers from Canada, the U.S., Britain, Japan and greater than 50 different nations for the primary time in additional than two years. (Jed Bradley/New Zealand Herald/The Related Press)

The border reopening will assist increase tourism forward of New Zealand’s upcoming ski season. However the actual check of how a lot the tourism business rebounds will are available in December, when the height summer time season begins within the Southern Hemisphere nation.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned greater than 90,000 folks had booked flights to New Zealand within the seven weeks because the reopening was introduced and 21 worldwide flights had been scheduled to land Monday in Auckland.

“Our tourism business have felt the consequences of the worldwide pandemic acutely, and are working laborious to organize,” she mentioned.

Ardern mentioned there have been no speedy plans to ease virus testing and vaccination necessities for vacationers.

Leave a Comment