For the first time in more than two years, New Zealand’s border will reopen to international visitors at midnight tonight.
On 19 March 2020, New Zealand snapped its border shut to anyone without citizenship or residency, before any covid-19-related deaths were recorded.
It was the first time in our history such a move was made, with the ban also including those from the Pacific.
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Today, the countdown is on to welcome back vaccinated visitors from 60 visa-waiver countries.
New Zealand’s already reopened the border to vaccinated Australians and some international students.
Air New Zealand chief executive Greg Foran said almost 1000 people will arrive on the first three flights, which will come from Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Fiji.
The airline has been struggling to prepare for the influx in international visitors due to staff recruitment issues.
The Ministry of Health reported 14 more more deaths with covid-19 and a further 8242 new community cases on Friday.
The seven-day rolling average of case numbers was 7540, down from last week’s 8166.
The total number of reported deaths with covid-19 rose to 737
This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.