WELLINGTON – New Zealand plans to permit quarantine-free entry to vaccinated vacationers from low-risk international locations from early subsequent yr as a part of a phased reopening of its borders that have been shut final yr because of the pandemic, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern mentioned on Thursday.
Ardern mentioned the federal government will transfer to a brand new particular person risk-based mannequin for quarantine-free journey from the primary quarter of 2022 that may set up low-, medium- and high-risk pathways into the nation.
Vaccinated vacationers from low-risk international locations can journey quarantine-free, whereas these from medium- and high-risk international locations should undergo a mixture of quarantine measures starting from self-isolation to spending 14 days in quarantine.
“We’re merely not ready to a totally reopen simply but. After we transfer we might be cautious and deliberate, as a result of we need to transfer with confidence and with as a lot certainty as potential,” Ardern mentioned in a speech at a discussion board about reconnecting New Zealanders to the world.
Ardern has received international plaudits for holding native transmission of COVID-19 by means of a strict elimination technique. The nation has recorded simply 2,500 circumstances and 26 deaths.
Ardern mentioned a self-isolation pilot mission might be began this yr, and new testing and vaccine checking programs might be arrange on the borders.
The nation can even pace up its vaccination rollout with all eligible ages capable of e book of their vaccine by Sept. 1, Ardern mentioned. It should additionally transfer to a six-week hole between doses to make sure extra New Zealanders are no less than partially vaccinated.
Ardern mentioned the federal government will preserve its elimination technique.
“If we quit our elimination method too quickly there isn’t a going again, and we might see important breakouts right here like some international locations abroad are experiencing who’ve opened up early of their vaccination rollout,” Ardern mentioned.
Reporting by Praveen Menon in Wellington Enhancing by Leslie Adler and Matthew Lewis