New Zealand: In a welcome move, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday, May 11, the country will fully reopen its international borders from 11:59 p.m. on July 31, with cruise ships also welcome back to local ports on the same day.
The announcement means borders will open two months earlier than the government’s timetable for lifting its remaining pandemic restrictions.
New Zealand earlier this month began welcoming tourists from more than 50 countries including the United States, Canada, Britain and Japan for the first time in more than two years, after earlier lifting restrictions on visitors from Australia and Europe.
Ardern said in a speech to a Business NZ lunch in Auckland that opening the borders would help to relieve urgent skills shortages, open up tourism and put immigration settings on a more secure footing.
“We are building on our proven plan to secure New Zealand’s economic future,” Ardern said.