Ardern confirms border to fully reopen at end of July

Maiki Sherman
Source: 1News

New Zealand's border will fully reopen from July 31 at 11.59pm.

Traveller arriving at Auckland International Airport from overseas (file picture).

It has been brought forward from October, and includes all non-visa waiver countries.

On Wednesday afternoon Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, "the international border will reopen to all tourists and visa holders two months earlier than planned on 31 July".

"This will be welcome news for families, businesses and our migrant communities. It also provides certainty and good preparation time for airlines and cruise ship companies planning a return to New Zealand in the peak spring and summer seasons.

"We know a major constraint on business is access to skilled labour. This plan will increase the available pool of labour, while also speeding up our tourism recovery."

READ MORE: Major reforms to NZ immigration settings announced

Ardern also talked about easing Covid restrictions for those leaving NZ.

"As we begin the consultation on our variant plan, its clear monitoring at the border will continue to be important but we will be able to change up the role that pre-departure testing has played.

"We are confident pre-departure testing will be removed by the time we come to the final phase of our reopening in July."

The possibility of the full border reopening earlier than initially signalled is something the Government had said was a possibility.

People from visa-waiver countries can already travel to New Zealand.