Travel update for New Zealand as Jacinda Ardern confirms borders will reopen in July

New Zealand has confirmed its date for reopening borders in July, which includes British holidaymakers fully welcoming for the first time in two years

New Zealand will fully reopen its borders in July

New Zealand has confirmed it will fully reopen its borders in July for the first time in over two years.

The country closed its borders in March 2020 and has since followed a tough policy, having only started a phased reopening to travelers earlier this year, which included fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens, critical workers and visa holders.

The prime minister of the holiday hotspot, Jacinda Ardern, confirmed this week that borders will open fully on July 31 at 11.59pm, two months ahead of schedule.

“New Zealand is in demand and now fully open for business,” she said in a news conference. “New Zealand’s international border will reopen to all tourists and visa holders on July 31, two months ahead of schedule.

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“This will be welcome news for families, businesses and our migrant communities. It also offers security and good preparation time for airlines and cruise lines planning to return to New Zealand during the spring and summer peak season.”

Earlier this year, New Zealand authorities confirmed a phased reopening of borders. Brits should be allowed to return “no later than July” in the fourth step, which would have welcomed back all visitors and business travelers who can normally enter New Zealand without a visa.

A fifth step for remaining travelers was supposed to take place in October, but according to the revised plan, this will now also start in July.

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern


(Getty Images)

New Zealand Tourism Minister Stuart Nash welcomed the reopening in July, which falls during a historically quiet tourism season for the destination.

He said in a statement: “Our broad tourism sector is on the road to recovery. We will be fully open to the world in the middle of winter, traditionally our quietest time for visitors. Bringing the date forward allows prospective travelers to apply for a visitor visa in good time before taking the next step to book a flight or cruise for future trips.

“Approximately 90 percent of cruise visits occur during the warmer months of October through April, and summer is our peak tourist season overall. Today’s announcement means the industry is full steam ahead and ready to plan for the rest of the year and beyond.”

Entry regulations and travel restrictions apply during the pandemic. For more information, see the UK Foreign Office’s latest New Zealand travel advice.

Do you think New Zealand was too strict with border closures? Let us know in the comments below. Travel update for New Zealand as Jacinda Ardern confirms borders will reopen in July

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