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New Zealand Hints That Vaccinated Travelers Can Return Next Year

The New Zealand Government outlined a path to reopening its borders to international travelers on Thursday. New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern laid out her government’s pathway to re-opening borders in 2022 at a tourism conference on Thursday.

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Brand new Zealand’s PM has indicated vaccinated travelers could start returning in 2022. Photo: Getty Images

“We cannot keep border restrictions on forever, and to be absolutely clear, we do not want to either, ” Ms Ardern told travel and leisure and business leaders.

Jacinda Ardern eyes a phased 2022 border reopening

But don’t book your tickets and pack your bags yet. The PM is in no mood to fling open New Zealand’s borders anytime soon. Ms Ardern says New Zealand’s boundary re-opening will be the phased approach. All going well, vaccinated travelers from low-risk countries may be allowed to fly to Fresh Zealand sometime in 2022 without going into managed quarantine or isolation.

“As a first step, from next year, we will move to a new risk-based ‘pathways’ system of travel. That means the nature of your entry into New Zealand will become dependent on a couple associated with key things – within particular, your vaccination status and where you have been for the last 14 days.

“We will be establishing a system to confirm a traveler’s vaccination standing. A digital tool is being developed by edge agencies to help assess the level of risk of travelers to and through New Zealand. This will be both for Brand-new Zealanders going overseas, as well as people coming into the country. ”

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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Picture: Getty Images

Wish list coming from NZ tourism boss eye flights first from North America

Completely new Zealand’s tough border regime has done a good job of keeping the country safe. A quarantine-free travel corridor was established inside April but indefinitely paused in July. A  journey corridor with the Cook Islands continues to operate trouble-free.

Those traveling corridors gave Air Innovative Zealand’s trans-Tasman and short-haul international operations a boost, at least temporarily. However , Air New Zealand’s longer-haul international flights are typically flying less than 5, 000 passengers each month. The Auckland-based airline has continued to operate some sort of scaled-back timetable to many of its long-haul destinations.

By 2022, the New Zealand Government aims to establish new risk-based border settings that will define how the country manages travelers from low, medium and high-risk countries. Since March 2020, Ms Ardern has erred on the particular side of caution, taking her time to make decisions and set policies. The pathway to re-opening Different Zealand’s borders fits that pattern. Tourism Export Council of New Zealand chief executive Lynda Keene wasn’t surprised.

“I was expecting to hear that New Zealand would not be welcoming back visitors for quite some time, ” the tourism executive told local news site Stuff . Ms Keene will be shooting for visitors by North America in the 1st quarter of 2022. Travelers from China and typically the Asia-Pacific region would follow. Bringing up the rear, later in 2022, would end up being travelers from Europe and the United Kingdom.

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A big winner from an NZ border reopening will certainly be Air New Zealand. Photo: Getty Images

With NZ’s PM taking a good cautious path, travel in order to New Zealand remains your while off yet

That might see an uptick in traffic between North America plus New Zealand. It may also see American Airlines hit the go button on its delayed introduction of year-round flights to Auckland and seasonal flights to Christchurch.

But Lynda Keene’s wish list is just that will – a wish list. Jacinda Ardern did not specifically address airlines or travel in her speech. Instead, she focused on edges and the pathways in addition to parameters to re-opening. The particular Prime Minister also noted how dynamic the situation is. Today’s best-laid plans can be rendered redundant next month. Ms Ardern’s speech, while detailed and even widely welcomed, doesn’t encourage travelers to book plane tickets to her country yet.

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