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New Zealand Will Relax Quarantine Requirements


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New Zealand Will Relax Quarantine Requirements

Chris Hipkins, New Zealand’s Covid-19 response minister, announced that the mandatory quarantine period for travelers to the country would be cut in half next month. The changes would free up about 1,500 rooms a month in the country’s quarantine hotels.

The government’s been considering how to rebalance our MIQ system to ensure that Kiwis can continue to come home, whilst we also provide more spaces for those higher-risk community cases and their contacts. We are also very aware of the pressure that’s been building at the border as the world begins to reconnect and increasing numbers of New Zealanders, here and abroad, want to be able to reconnect with their loved ones. MIQ stays will be reduced from 14 days to seven days. Travelers being tested at Day Zero, Day 3 and Day 6, and undertaking a rapid antigen test before they leave MIQ. They’ll then isolate at home for short periods of around three days. They’ll get a PCR test on Day 9 since they returned home, and they will wait at home until that result comes back. The second step allows us to reopen the border to more low-risk travelers, allowing them to bypass MIQ altogether, and we’ll start with travelers from low-risk Pacific island countries. The third step is we can move towards having more people isolating at home. This option will be made available to increasing numbers of fully vaccinated travelers in the first quarter of 2022. In the meantime, my message to all New Zealanders, whether they are here or abroad, is a very, very simple one. Get vaccinated. Then we can all get back to doing the things that we love and to seeing the people that we love.

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