New Zealand Details Reopening Plan; Americans Can Visit in July

New Zealand on Thursday, February 3, announced its plans to reopen its border in phases throughout the year. Fully vaccinated travelers from the United States—and all other countries that do not need a visa—can begin visiting in July.

The country will first open at the end of February to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents before further opening on March 13 to (additionally) select skilled workers, travelers on a working holiday scheme, and partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents. On April 12, New Zealand will further open to current offshore temporary visa holders and up to 5,000 international students. Step 4 (when Americans can begin visiting) is reopening to all travelers from Australia, visitors from countries who do not need a visa and travelers arriving under the Accredited Employer Work Visa categories. The final step will occur in October, when the country reopens to all visa categories.

Prior to traveling, you must have a negative PCR or RT-PCR test result from within 48 hours of your scheduled departure from your first international flight. (Children under two years of age are exempt from the testing requirement.)

Fully vaccinated travelers will have to self-isolate for 10 days upon entering New Zealand. Travelers will be provided with three rapid antigen tests at the airport—one for use on Day 0/1 and one for use on Day 5/6, with one extra for backup. (Anyone who tests positive will need to take a PCR test at a Community Testing Centre or GP for whole genome sequencing in order to quickly identify and respond to new variants coming across the border.)

Those who are unvaccinated, regardless of which “step” they can begin entering New Zealand, must complete a 10-day stay in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ). You are required to obtain a Managed Isolation Allocation system voucher confirming your place in an MIQ facility before boarding a flight. 

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