NZ Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern

A new plan has been revealed to get New Zealand safely through the threat of the Delta variant of COVID-19 and start to reconnect us to the rest of the world.

After a panel of experts in the science and business community discussed how New Zealand will start to reconnect to the world, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the new strategy. Our Government’s approach will be guided by five objectives:

  1. Maintaining our elimination strategy to stamp out the virus and keep our options open.
  2. Ensuring every eligible New Zealander is offered the opportunity to be vaccinated as soon as possible.
  3. Reducing the need for further lockdowns as much as possible by continuing to strengthen our health and contact tracing systems.
  4. Maintaining strong public health tools.
  5. Developing new ways to enable people to travel safely to and from New Zealand.

Self-isolation pilot for businesses and organisations

The Government has announced it will undertake a self-isolation pilot for a limited number of travellers between October and December 2021. More information on this will be released in September.

Vaccination remains the key

Tourism Industry Aotearoa welcomed the Government’s Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World strategy.

“This plan is not absolute and could change, but it is important we have a plan based on what we currently know. It is pleasing that one of the five objectives guiding the plan is ‘developing new ways to safely travel to and from New Zealand,” TIA CEO Chris Roberts said.

“As expected, there will be a phased, risk-based reopening with the world. The trial, to begin in October, for vaccinated New Zealand workers to make short trips abroad and then self-isolate at home, is a positive move.

“While it provides no immediate tourism benefit, if it’s successful it will point the way to allowing travellers from low-risk countries to visit from 2022 without having to go into MIQ.

“TIA is keen to work with the Government on its development of a traveller health declaration system, which will involve pre-departure declarations and arrival checks for those wanting to come to New Zealand.”

Right now, vaccination remains the key, Roberts said.

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