New Zealand presents three-part plan to reopen to the world
New Zealand has presented a three-pronged plan to resume non-quarantine travel between Australia and short and long-haul destinations, with a traffic light style system similar to other countries to be introduced.
Speaking at the “Reconnecting New Zealanders to the Global Forum” in Wellington, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the plan would aim to accelerate the country’s economic recovery, reduce the risk of foreclosure and enable a gradual reopening of borders in 2022.
Key elements of the plan include vaccinating as many New Zealanders as possible, all eligible ages can make an appointment by September 1, and a six-week interval between doses. A pilot self-isolation program will be tested this year in conjunction with the establishment of new vaccine testing and verification systems at border points of entry.
Starting next year, new risk-based individual border settings will be introduced, creating low, medium and high risk lanes for travelers from around the world to enter New Zealand, with country-based levels. origin of the passenger and his vaccination status.
The low-risk status will allow entry without quarantine for vaccinated travelers, while those with a medium-risk designation will be required to self-isolate for a predetermined period or undergo a reduced stay in quarantine. Full high-risk status will be reserved for unvaccinated travelers and all arrivals from high-risk countries, all of whom must undergo a 14-day full isolation stay before entering the country.
Companies that need to send New Zealand nationals abroad to work will be invited to register to participate in the pilot program, which will run from October to December 2021. Travelers approved under the program will be able to take short trips abroad before quarantining themselves at home. on the way back.
Prime Minister Ardern said if New Zealand opened its borders now, the country would lose its freedoms and the benefits it has worked for so far as part of its elimination strategy.
“The plan announced today is based on the best available scientific evidence and public health advice,” the Prime Minister said.
“This will allow us to seize the opportunities that vaccination brings, while protecting the gains New Zealanders have worked so hard for.
“This individual risk-based approach requires the implementation of new systems. We will use the remainder of 2021 to continue to prepare for how borders work under this system. “
Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) said it welcomes the increased clarity on how New Zealand will reconnect with the world.
“It’s important to have a roadmap so that all businesses, including tourism operators, can plan ahead and make informed decisions,” said TIA CEO Chris Roberts.
The plan was announced following the publication and tabling to the government this week of advice from Sir David Skegg’s COVID-19 Strategic Public Health Advisory Group.