New Zealanders have taken to social media to express their emotions following this afternoon’s announcement that the country’s most restrictive border controls will be eased early next year.
Most fully vaccinated travellers into New Zealand would not be required to go through managed isolation from early next year, Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins revealed.
He said the country was now in a position to start moving back to normality, but reiterated that travel in 2022 would still be different.
Many on social media were delighted at the news and shared what it would mean for themselves, their friends and their family.
The MIQ changes are great news for our household. My friends that I live with, their parents live overseas and they haven’t seen them in years. Delighted for them
— Jacqueline Paul (@jaackiepaul) November 24, 2021
Absolutely relieved and delighted to hear that by mid February, I can travel again & return to Aotearoa with only a week of self-isolation to complete. Good bye to the MIQ system, RIP
— Jordan Carter (@jordantcarter) November 24, 2021
I can see my parents!
“At midnight Sunday January 16, fully vaccinated New Zealanders can travel from Australia without MIQ”
— Kate Gooden (@kategooden) November 24, 2021
Not gonna lie, border opening news has me really emotional. I’d projected into seeing my family in 2021 and planned on going to America once vaccines rolled out in NZ, but by the time that happened, MIQ was in full shambles mode. Finally, light at the end of the tunnel.
— Doug Dillaman (@dillamonster) November 24, 2021
But some questioned the workability of the seven-day self-isolation requirement that would take the place of MIQ.
I still don’t see how requiring all travellers to NZ to isolate at home for 7 days is going to work.
Imagine coming here on holiday, and then having to stay in your hotel and isolate for 7 days of your trip.
Yeah, like that’s gonna happen. #covid19nz
But hey, no MIQ!
— Ryan CrawCour (@ryancrawcour) November 24, 2021
And National MP Chris Bishop called the decision not to allow New Zealand citizens in Australia to come home without having to quarantine until mid-January “truly pathetic”.
So basically if you’re a NZ citizen in Australia right now you can come home… in mid-January. With a week’s self isolation. This is truly pathetic. Insulting, callous, immoral. #miq
— Christopher GET VACCINATED Bishop (@cjsbishop) November 24, 2021
Unveiling the government’s three-phase plan to reopen the border, Hipkins said it was the safest approach and would allow the booster shot rollout to get underway and give regions time to increase their vaccination rates.
Fully vaccinated New Zealanders would be able to travel from Australia without having to quarantine from 11.59pm on 16 January, and from 11.59pm on 13 February that would extend to fully vaccinated New Zealanders from all countries.
From 30 April, all fully vaccinated foreigner travellers would also be able to come to this country without having to quarantine, though proof of vaccination would be required.
All travellers not required to go into MIQ would still require:
- a negative pre-departure test
- proof of being fully vaccinated
- a passenger declaration about travel history
- a day 0/1 test on arrival
- a requirement to self-isolate for seven days, and a final negative test before entering the community