New Zealand eases quarantine but won’t welcome tourists yet – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-10-28 12:00:00 –

Wellington, New Zealand >> New Zealand officials announced Thursday that they will gradually relax border quarantine requirements, one of the strictest in the world, through a pandemic.

However, while the change makes it easier for New Zealanders stuck abroad to return home, authorities did not give a date as to when tourists would be welcomed. The change may still be months away.

COVID-19 (New Coronavirus Infection) Response Minister Chris Hipkins said most people arriving in New Zealand starting next month would have to spend seven days in a military-run quarantine hotel, half of the previous requirement.

He said some new arrivals from low-risk Pacific island nations could skip quarantine altogether and quarantine at home.

He said the new rule is a tentative step ahead of the broader resumption measures that will be gradually introduced once more than 90% of New Zealanders over the age of 12 are fully vaccinated. So far, 72% of eligible people have both shots.

This change follows rising protests from New Zealanders who attempted to return home but failed to secure a place for the quarantine system. Some people resort to legal action.

“I admit that there is a lot of pressure there. My message to those who want to return to New Zealand is,” It’s not too long to wait now, “Hypkins said. “And encouraging their fellow New Zealanders to be fully vaccinated will help us reach that point sooner.”

Hypkins said he expects most new arrivals to be quarantined at home by sometime in the first quarter of next year. He said his top priority was New Zealanders and those with a valid visa.

“Tourists are more difficult in that they don’t always have a place to quarantine on arrival,” says Hypkins. “But we will overcome it all.”

Opponents said the change was not well underway and that returning a fully vaccinated traveler poses little risk.

Prior to the pandemic, more than 3 million tourists visited New Zealand each year, making the industry one of New Zealand’s largest foreign income earners.

For more than a year after the pandemic began, a rigorous quarantine system allowed New Zealand to return to normal life, almost completely free of the virus.

However, a more contagious delta mutation occurred in Auckland more than two months ago, which turned out to be impossible to extinguish, and authorities abandoned the previous zero-tolerance approach and supported a suppression strategy. bottom.

Border requirements were beginning to look obsolete as the virus continued to spread and remain blocked in Auckland.

The announcement on Thursday came after officials said two people in Christchurch had caught the virus after returning from Auckland. There was no immediate evidence that the virus was spreading further in the city.

New Zealand eases quarantine but won’t welcome tourists yet Source link New Zealand eases quarantine but won’t welcome tourists yet

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