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New Zealand Announces Nine-Month Plan to Reopen Borders

The New Zealand Government has released its plan to reopen the country’s borders in five stages, beginning in late February with Kiwi citizens stuck in Australia and finally allowing all international visitors to enter in October 2022. While the plan provides a way for international travelers to return to New Zealand without quarantine in a government approved hotel, it requires a 10-day self-isolation plan of all those entering the country. The requirements for self-isolation were not available when Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the plan in a press conference on February 3. So, it is not clear if hunters will be able to isolate in a hunting camp. Those details should be made available before February 27. Here’s what Ardern announced:

Beginning February 27 at 11:59 pm, all fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents, in addition to other eligible travelers under current border restrictions, can enter New Zealand from Australia and self-isolate upon arrival.

Two weeks later, on March 13 at 11:59 pm, all fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens, residents and other eligible travelers can enter New Zealand from anywhere in the world and self-isolate upon arrival.

On April 12 from 11:59 pm temporary visa holders and international students returning for the upcoming semester will be able to re-enter New Zealand.

Then “no later than” July 2022 all fully vaccinated travelers from countries that do not need a visa (visa waiver visitors) and travelers arriving under the Accredited Employer Work Visa categories will be allowed to enter. Countries whose citizens do not need a visa to enter New Zealand include Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States. Ardern says that this may occur earlier than July, depending on developments.

And finally, in October all visa categories will reopen, including visitor and student visas.

In addition to self-isolating for 10 days upon arrival, travelers will be provided 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. Travelers must also provide a negative pre-departure COVID-19 test and meet vaccination requirements before traveling to New Zealand. Pre-departure tests must be a PCR or RT-PCR test taken within 48 hours of departure. For vaccination, New Zealand will accept a full course of any of the COVID-19 vaccines that have been approved by a government health authority or approval authority. Travelers must have had the last dose at least 14 days before departure for New Zealand.

Be sure to read the Safari Times for more information on self-isolation requirements, once released by the New Zealand government. These will clarify whether time in a remote hunting camp will qualify as part of the required 10-day isolation period, or if hunters will need to add time to their hunting trips.

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