MISE & Agrave; DAY
New Zealand announced Wednesday that its borders would remain closed to foreign travelers until the end of April, when the archipelago gradually eases measures for international arrivals, so far among the strictest to the world.
& nbsp; • See also: New Zealand announces the end of lockdowns and abandons its policy
The minister responsible for the fight against Covid-19, Chris Hipkins, has indicated that New Zealanders stranded in Australia could return from mid-January, those from the rest of the world having to wait until February.
For their part, foreigners will be able to visit the archipelago from the end of April, according to the gradual reopening plan unveiled on Wednesday. & Nbsp;
“We recognize that the situation has been difficult, but the end travel restrictions are now in sight, ”Mr. Hipkins told reporters.
New Zealand closed its borders in March 2020. All people arriving from overseas were required to observe a quarantine of two weeks in a hotel. This period has recently been reduced to seven days.
The minister went further on Wednesday by announcing that with the gradual opening of its borders, to Australia and then to the rest of the planet, travelers will have to isolate themselves at home for seven days after having proven to be fully vaccinated and negative coronavirus.
This announcement comes amid growing pressure from New Zealanders stranded abroad and frustrated at not being able to book rooms in insufficiently quarantined hotels.
New Zealand announced earlier this week a change in its strategy to fight Covid-19, deciding to contain the Delta variant rather than eliminate it.
The disease did not do that 40 died out of a population of five million, but authorities admitted that the Delta variant was a game-changer and that they had to abandon their zero Covid goal.
Mr Hipkins acknowledged that many locals wanted the borders to reopen for Christmas, but felt that was unrealistic.
“The global pandemic continues, with an increase in the number of cases in Europe and other parts of the world, ”he said. “We must therefore be careful about the reopening of our borders, this is what we are doing and what we have always done”.
The minister clarified that from next month, the India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Fiji and Brazil would no longer be classified as very high risk countries, allowing their nationals to travel to New Zealand from April 30.
< h3> SEE ALSO …