Skip to content

New Zealand set to finally reopen its borders

Nov. 24, 2021
3 min read
New Zealand set to finally reopen its borders
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

After nearly two years of some of the toughest travel restrictions on the planet, New Zealand has circled a date on the calendar to reopen for international visitors: April 30, 2022.

The remote South Pacific nation will remain closed to most international travelers for an additional five months as it cautiously navigates the remnants of another surge in COVID-19 cases that broke out earlier this year. New Zealand has essentially been cut off from overseas tourism for nearly two years and has been eyeing a 2022 reopening for some time.

When international tourism resumes next year, fully vaccinated travelers will be allowed to enter. They will have to self-quarantine for seven days upon their arrival. Along with proof of vaccination, international visitors will also have to show a negative COVID test result taken prior to departure, as well as take a COVID test when they land in New Zealand.

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Want more TPG travel news delivered each morning? Sign up for our daily newsletter

Vaccinated New Zealanders and those who have residence visas in neighboring Australia can resume traveling to New Zealand even sooner, from 16 January. Fully vaxxed New Zealand citizens and residence visa holders from other countries will be allowed in from 13 February. A travel bubble was established earlier this year between New Zealand and Australia.

"A phased approach to reconnecting with the world is the safest approach to ensure risk is carefully managed," said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, per Reuters.

The government has been feeling pressure to ease border restrictions as ex-pat New Zealanders were eager to return home for the holidays. The volatility over travel protocols has reportedly forced Air New Zealand to cancel roughly 1,000 flights to Australia.

Related: 9 reasons New Zealand should be on your bucket list

Due to its isolated geographic location, the Kiwi government implemented incredibly tight protocols as the pandemic took hold. Those restrictions are said to have helped the New Zealand economy rebound quicker than many other countries. It also contributed to just 40 deaths in New Zealand attributed to COVID, a number far less than recorded in other countries.

But the most recent outbreak, blamed on the highly contagious Delta variant, proved immensely stubborn. Despite placing the city of Auckland under lockdown for three months, the virus continued to spread, forcing New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern to change the country's COVID strategy. Auckland will shift to a traffic light policy from 3 December that will allow businesses in the country's largest city to operate again.

In the new system, regions will be slotted into a red, orange, or green setting depending on their level of exposure to COVID-19 and vaccination rates. Auckland, the epicenter of the most recent outbreak, will start at red.

About 83 percent of eligible citizens are said to be fully vaccinated at the moment. However, the prime minister acknowledges the new shift in strategy signals that its time New Zealand treats the virus as endemic.

“The hard truth is that delta is here and not going away, but New Zealand is well set to tackle it because of our high vaccination rates and our latest safety measures including the traffic light system and Vaccine Pass,” Ardern said in a statement.

Featured image by Scenic dusk view of illuminated Queenstown cityscape at beautiful sunset with Lake Wakatipu and The Remarkables mountain range, Queenstown, famous resort town in Otago Region, South Island, New Zealand.
Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

TPG featured card

Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards

1 - 3X points
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points60,000 points
For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

670-850
Excellent, Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases
Best starter travel card
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
4 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
3XEarn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
1XEarn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening

    Earn 80,000 ThankYou® points
    60,000 points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    670-850
    Excellent, Good

Why We Chose It

The Citi Premier’s 3 points per dollar spent across a wide range of popular categories is one of the more lucrative offerings in the world of points and miles. The Citi Premier comes with a $95 annual fee and is currently offering a solid sign up bonus of 80,000 points after you spend $4,000 on purchases within the first three months. It also has some valuable transfer partners to make the most of your rewards. Add in access to Citi Entertainment plus a $100 hotel credit for any single-stay hotel booking that exceeds $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through the Citi travel website, there are few reasons why the Citi Premier should not be in every traveler’s wallet.

Pros

  • Earns 3x points on restaurants, supermarkets, gas stations, air travel and hotels.
  • $100 annual hotel savings benefit (on single hotel stay bookings of $500 or more, excluding taxes and fees, booked through thankyou.com)
  • Points transfer to 16 airline programs, from JetBlue to Virgin Atlantic.
  • World Elite Mastercard benefits, extended warranty, damage and theft protection.

Cons

  • $95 annual fee
  • Lacks travel protections that other travel rewards cards come with
  • For a limited time, earn 80,000 bonus ThankYou® Points after you spend $4,000 in purchases within the first 3 months of account opening
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Restaurants and Supermarkets
  • Earn 3 Points per $1 spent at Gas Stations, Air Travel and Hotels
  • Earn 1 Point per $1 spent on all other purchases
  • Annual Hotel Savings Benefit
  • 80,000 Points are redeemable for $800 in gift cards when redeemed at thankyou.com
  • No expiration and no limit to the amount of points you can earn with this card
  • No Foreign Transaction Fees on purchases