Fully vaccinated travellers will finally be able to enter New Zealand from 30 April 2022, easing border restrictions that have been in place since March last year.
Meanwhile, fully vaccinated New Zealanders and residence visa holders in neighbouring Australia will be able to enter the country from 16 January.
Fully vaccinated residents and visa holders from most other countries will be allowed in from 13 February.
This gradual reopening will bring to an end some of the world’s tightest pandemic restrictions, which were put in place almost two years ago by the South Pacific country to limit the spread of COVID-19 and help its economy bounce back.
But an outbreak of the highly contagious Delta variant earlier this year has forced a shift in strategy, with the main city of Auckland now only gradually opening up as vaccination rates climb.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said: “A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed.
“This reduces any potential impacts on vulnerable communities and the New Zealand health system.”
Under the new rules, travellers will no longer be required to stay at state quarantine facilities, but other measures will be put in place – including a negative pre-departure test, proof of vaccination and a coronavirus test upon arrival.