The island-nation of New Zealand, which has had success at keeping Covid-19 at bay over the last 18 months through draconian travel controls, will be lifting those controls a bit early next year, at least with regard to visitors from low-risk countries.
All of the country’s borders and entry ports have been closed to non-residents since March 19, 2020. Returning citizens and residents after that date were required to self-isolate. This policy of isolation involved even a break from the norm of regular travel back and forth of Australians and New Zealanders. [Australia, at an air travel distance of 2,587 miles from New Zealand, are practically next-door neighbors.]
But the country did open up travel from Australia 13 months later, in April 2021, and did the same for travel from the Cook Islands in May.
The country has worked to develop its domestic tourism industry as a substitute for the old-normal of foreign tourists eager for that Middle Earth scenery.
In Pill Form:
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, n a speech Thursday, August 12, outlining further steps to re-open, cautioned that further moves will be “careful and deliberate.”
The Fortress New Zealand approach has been a success. The country has suffered only 26 deaths from the pandemic, and just 2,500 cases. Its population is 4.8 million.