New Zealand opens borders for cruise ships

New Zealand is opening its borders to international travelers for the first time since the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic in March 2020.

The country will now start accepting all visitors, including those from visa-free countries and international students.

The change in the configuration of the border marks the latest milestone in the country’s reunification strategy.

Prime minister Jacinda Ardern called it an “enormous moment”, adding it was part of a “cautious process”.

The country also reopened its maritime border to cruise ships.

Proof of vaccination will be required from passengers.

Cruise calls were worth more than NZ$500 million a year before the pandemic, of which NZ$356 million was spent on land.

The New Zealand government said: “This is great news to the tourism industry and economy as we approach spring and summer with people from the northern hemisphere booking their winter holidays.

“We have heard optimistic messages from tourism operators who are ready to welcome back international visitors from all over the world.”