More than two years after closing its borders to international travelers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, New Zealand is set to reopen its borders.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the news on Tuesday.
Starting April 12, the country will reopen its borders to Australians and to vaccinated international tourists from visa-waiver countries beginning May 1.
“We know that traveler numbers will be below pre-COVID levels for awhile and tourism globally will take time to rebound, but today’s announcement means were we’re ready to go, so haere mai welcome back,” Ardern said.
The country had one of the world’s strictest border controls when the pandemic began,
Reopening the borders is set to revitalize the economy.
“Reopening in time for the upcoming Australian school holidays will help spur our economic recovery in the short term and is good news for the winter ski season," Ardern said.
According to the Associated Press, tourists must be vaccinated and tested negative before leaving their home country and again after arriving in New Zealand.