When to Travel to New Zealand Post-Covid
If we still lived in a world of common sense, New Zealand would have leveraged its 2020 success in containing Covid to stage the world’s fastest and most comprehensive vaccination campaign in 2021, so it can reopen completely its border in 2022, and put “the lockdown” in the trash of history where it belongs. Alas, we – and especially the Kiwis – do not yet live in a world of common sense.
In the next few paragraphs, I’ll dig into the reasons for the indefinite closure of the New Zealand border, before speculating on when and how it might reopen in the future.
The latest travel restrictions in New Zealand
When will New Zealand open to tourists? Before we get to this question, we need to accept New Zealand’s current travel restrictions. Since August 2021, hardly anyone has been able to cross the New Zealand border. Those who are (New Zealand citizens and permanent residents, as well as a limited number of seasonal agricultural workers from the Pacific Islands) are typically required to spend 14 days in strictly managed isolation.
While Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is expected to make an announcement about reopening the New Zealand border later in the week I first published this article, media watchers expect it to be light on dates and details. (Obviously, I will update this page if they turn out to be wrong). Unfortunately, unless the recently burst “travel bubble” with Australia soon re-inflates, foreigners are unlikely to be returning to New Zealand anytime soon.
Why is the New Zealand border still closed?
Too much fanaticism #CovidZero
New Zealand deserves credit for the extent to which it removed Covid-19 in 2020, although this was more due to its geographic isolation and low population density than the several draconian lockdowns imposed by its government. Unfortunately, months of zero local transmission have convinced many New Zealanders that the “elimination” of the virus they seem to have achieved should be maintained at all costs.
Not enough vaccines
By the time we see New Zealand open to tourism, as many as 80% of the country will be fully vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2. As of August 2021, however, only 20% of the country was fully vaccinated. While leaders have tried to cover up their failure to order adequate supplies under a selfless veneer, the reality is that self-righteous complacency has led the country to where it is.
Illusion of self-sufficiency
One of the most shocking things I have observed about the New Zealand border being closed is the number of people within the tourism industry who seem to support it. Although New Zealand has a domestic market, the reality is that international tourism is largely responsible for the prosperity and upward mobility of people in this country which, despite its beauty, has few natural resources and resources. ‘a small and shrinking indigenous population.
Shallow national leadership
International tourism was not only the key to New Zealand’s past prosperity, but will be needed when the peak of #CovidZero’s sour travel to New Zealand wears off. Sadly, neither Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern nor the weak men she surrounds herself with intend to open New Zealand to tourism again. Rather than making specific plans, they speak in platitudes, signaling virtue instead of throwing dollars and common sense.
Enslavement to China
At the root of New Zealand’s adherence to lockdown, stubborn adherence to the zero-case fantasy and the apparent happiness of shutting down indefinitely is overreliance (and, in my opinion, geopolitical enslavement to) China. One could argue that New Zealand’s relative arrogance in going so far from zero tolerance is an assurance from China that it will back its only lane in the region.
When will New Zealand open the borders again?
If I had to make an educated guess, I would say that New Zealand’s borders will reopen to vaccinated tourists from all countries except those most affected by Covid during the second half of 2022. Since most travelers prefer visiting New Zealand during the southern hemisphere summer, it would mean that the summer season 2023 (December 2022-March 2023) will be the next opportunity for tourists to visit New Zealand.
When will New Zealand open to tourists from Australia or other countries that the government has deemed “safe”? This is a bit more difficult to answer, firstly because it is not clear whether the “travel bubble” that was briefly opened will ever re-inflate. Indeed, I’ve always found the idea of establishing bilateral travel lanes a bit silly, given how leaders of #CovidZero countries tend to be happy to trigger.
Other New Zealand Pandemic Travel FAQs
Can US citizens travel to New Zealand now?
As of August 2021, only US citizens who also have New Zealand citizenship or residency can travel to New Zealand. These travelers will need to spend two weeks in a managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facility before being allowed into the community.
When will New Zealand’s borders open to the UK?
Although the UK has had one of the fastest and most comprehensive vaccine deployment programs in the world, New Zealand has expressed little desire to reopen travel with Britain. Right now, I imagine the British will only be able to enter New Zealand once the country’s border has been opened globally, possibly in the second half of 2022.
When will the Australia-New Zealand travel bubble open again?
Australia’s short-lived travel bubble with New Zealand opened for two-way, non-quarantine travel in April 2021 and ‘exploded’ in July following a relatively Covid outbreak. important in Sydney. Because the bubble has closed so many times in its brief life, I think it is unlikely that it will ever be re-inflated.
The bottom line
When New Zealand open to tourists? Some lucky leisure travelers may be able to reenter New Zealand before the end of 2021; a much larger number will be able to visit during the fall and winter – the southern hemisphere, that is – of 2022. However, unless you plan to come in December 2022 to take advantage of the onset of New Zealand summer season, you probably won’t. observe Tekapo’s lupins until 2023.