New Zealand has opened quarantine-free travel to Pacific Island countries that have been vaccinated.
New Zealand's other vaccinated travellers will be able to quarantine for 7 days, instead of 14.
Australia and the USA have been removed from the travel ban.
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New Zealand is known for its strict response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, it is slowly opening its doors to the outside world.
CNN reported that Chris Hipkins, government minister for COVID-19, described the first steps towards the country's reopening at a Thursday press conference. The first person to be allowed into New Zealand from November 8 will be a Pacific Islander, which includes those from Vanuatu and Tonga.
CNN reported Hipkins saying, "It's high time we opened our doors to the outside world." "We cannot remain behind the walls at Fortress New Zealand.
Reuters reports that foreign vaccine-eligible immigrants from other countries will need to be quarantined, but this has been reduced to seven days from November 14th. Even those who are forced to quarantine will not find the same New Zealand they found before the pandemic.
COVID-19-related outbreaks have caused officials in certain areas of the country to restrict movement and activities. Hipkins explained this in a press conference on October 27. According to Reuters, New Zealand is working towards a 90% vaccination rate before ending the most restrictive lockdown measures.
Australia, which New Zealand has close ties with, was not included in the first quarantine-free travel listing despite similar strict policies that have led to other countries and territories being placed in lockdowns or removed from them since March 2020.
The New Zealand government stated that quarantine-free travel to Australia was suspended for an additional 8 weeks on 17 September 2021. "This is due the current Delta outbreaks."
New Zealand will examine the state of the travel bubble in mid-to-late November. However, it cited outbreaks at home and in Australia.
According to the government, non-citizen unvaccinated travelers will not be permitted into New Zealand after November 1. Air New Zealand will require that all passengers flying on domestic or international flights from February 1, 2022 are vaccinated.
It is not clear when New Zealand will allow more countries to enter its territory without the need for quarantine, which includes the US.
American Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines were the only US airlines to serve New Zealand before the pandemic. They offered non-stop flights from Honolulu, Los Angeles and Honolulu. According to RoutesOnline.com, American Airlines had intended to fly new flights between Dallas and Auckland in 2022. However, pandemic restrictions forced American to cancel the flight schedule.
Americans who are planning to go on vacation in New Zealand can rest assured that they will be able to enjoy it at a slower pace.