New Zealand have decided to re-open its borders to visitors as the country tries to live with the virus, for the first time since the COVID-19 pandemic.
New Zealand has been gradually easing its borders since February for its citizens, with Monday being the first full day of opening borders to all since Covid closed them in March 2020.
The country ended the process of reopening the borders last night with international visitors, students and non-visa waiver countries, such as China and India, now allowed to visit New Zealand.
Notably, it has also let cruise ships and foreign recreational yachts dock at its ports.
The decision to relax its border rules comes as a major relief to the international students who are a significant contributor to New Zealand’s economy. Educational experts are hoping that the reopening of the borders will again provide a boost to schools and universities around the country.
During a speech at the China Business Summit in Auckland on Monday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the nation was “open for business” after the final stage of the phased reopening, which began in April, was completed on July 31.
“It’s been a staged and cautious process on our part since February as we, alongside the rest of the world continue to manage a very live global pandemic, while keeping our people safe,” she was quoted as saying by Reuters.
Meanwhile, New Zealand continues to report Covid cases, with 5,312 new community cases of Covid-19 being reported on Monday alone, according to the Ministry of Health. Whereas 28 Covid-related deaths have been recorded.
There are now 1,502 deaths that have been confirmed as either directly attributed to Covid, or with Covid as a contributing factor, reports NZ Herald.