Border Opening Update – 2 March 20227 Mar 2022

The Government is removing the self-isolation requirements for vaccinated travellers to New Zealand and enabling Kiwis to come here from the rest of the world sooner. Advice from the Strategic COVID-19 Public Health Advisory Group and the Director General of Health is that it is now appropriate to drop the requirement for self-isolation for fully vaccinated travellers after they arrive in New Zealand. The Government has also confirmed it will bring forward Step 2 so that New Zealanders from the rest of the world can return from midnight this Friday 4 March. Cabinet will review the timings of the remaining steps in the coming weeks.

From 11:59pm on Wednesday 2 March 2022, as the New Zealand border reopens in steps, fully vaccinated travellers entering New Zealand will no longer need to self-isolate.

Unvaccinated New Zealand citizens, people with vaccine exemptions or medical certificates, and those who do not meet New Zealand’s vaccination requirements who are eligible to enter New Zealand will continue to enter managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ).

Timeline for border reopening

Step 1 From 11.59pm, 27 February 2022
Reopen to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings (e.g. people with border exceptions) from Australia

Step 2 From 11:59 pm, 4 March and from 13 March 2022
From 11:59pm 4 March 2022
• Reopen to New Zealanders and other eligible travellers under current border settings from the rest of the world
From 11:59pm 13 March 2022
• Open to skilled workers earning at least 1.5 times the median wage (NZD $84,240 a year or NZD $40.50 an hour) for roles longer than 6 months.
- The requirement for 'other critical workers' who meet the 1.5 times the median wage bright line test to demonstrate that their skills are not readily obtainable in New Zealand will be removed.
- The highly skilled family reunification border exception is aligned with the 1.5 times the median wage bright line test for 'other critical workers'.
• Open to Working Holiday Scheme visas
Some working holiday schemes are reopening on a rolling basis and the time for individual schemes will be confirmed.

Step 3 From 11:59 pm, Tuesday 12 April 2022
• Open to current offshore temporary visa holders, who can still meet their relevant visa requirements.
• Open to current onshore temporary visa holders to leave and return, if they have travel conditions.
• Open to up to 5,000 international students for semester two
• Further class exceptions for critical workforces that do not meet the 1.5 times the median wage.

Step 4 By July 2022
• Open to anyone from Australia
• Open for visa-waiver travel
• The Accredited Employer Work Visa will open
• The skilled and health worker border exception will be phased out

Step 5 By October 2022
• Border fully reopens to visitors from anywhere in the world, and all visa categories fully reopen.

It is likely the above border re-opening steps will continue to evolve and change over the next few months and any one who is planning travel to New Zealand should obtain updates from the INZ website.