New Zealand opens its borders after a tough two years of strict lockdown COVID-19 measures. The once- booming tourism industry for this country in Oceania is due to ramp back up.

As of March 2022, New Zealand citizens were able to move within and outside the country. However this is the first time that the country has allowed visitors inside the country since March 2020.

New Zealand was considered to have one of the strictest lockdowns anywhere in the world. Since last week New Zealand opens its borders and expects to see a significant boost after tourism come to a standstill.

New Zealand opens its borders to 60 visa-waiver countries

Since the announcement, New Zealand welcomed travelers from several countries including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Japan and more. Several visa-waiver European countries also will be welcome to visit.

People from more than 60 countries (not including India and China) can now visit New Zealand, providing they are vaccinated and test negative for COVID-19. There are no mandates for isolation either. 

Pre-pandemic New Zealand proved to be a top tourist spot, bringing in 20% of the foreign income. More than 3 million tourists visited each year, accounting for more than 5% of the overall economy.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said more than 90,000 people had booked flights to New Zealand in the seven weeks since the reopening was announced and 21 international flights were scheduled on the first Monday in Auckland.

“Our tourism industry have felt the effects of the global pandemic acutely, and are working hard to prepare,” she said.

Ardern stated that there are no immediate plans to ease virus testing and vaccination requirements for tourists.