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Fortress New Zealand eyes opening to vaccinated travellers early 2022

Tight border controls and its geographic advantage helped New Zealand stamp out COVID-19 much faster than almost all other countries, but this left the Pacific island nation of 5 million almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world.

August 12, 2021 / 07:46 AM IST
The mix-and-match study will be conducted by Christian Medical College, Vellore [Representative image]

The mix-and-match study will be conducted by Christian Medical College, Vellore [Representative image]

New Zealand plans to allow quarantine-free entry to vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries from early 2022, as it looks to open its borders again after nearly 18 months of pandemic-induced isolation.

Tight border controls and its geographic advantage helped New Zealand stamp out COVID-19 much faster than almost all other countries, but this left the Pacific island nation of 5 million almost entirely cut off from the rest of the world.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Thursday that the country is still not ready to open up entirely, but will open in phases from early next year.

”We're simply not in a position to fully reopen just yet,” the 41-year-old leader said in a speech outlining plans to reconnect New Zealand with the world.