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New Zealand Is Scrapping MIQ for Double-Vaxxed Kiwis Coming From Australia This Month

It's the first stage of the Government's five-step plan for opening to the world this year.
By Sarah Templeton
February 03, 2022
By Sarah Templeton
February 03, 2022

Start dreaming of that beach holiday or finally getting to hug mum and dad again. From the end of this month, Kiwis returning home from Australia won't have to battle with MIQ hotel requirements.

Prime Minister Jacinda Arden announced the country's new five-step plan for reopening to Australia and the rest of the world in a press conference on Thursday, February 3. She revealed that MIQ requirements will be scrapped for fully-vaxxed New Zealanders travelling from Australia from 11.59pm on Sunday, February 27.

Then from 11.59pm on Sunday, March 13, Kiwis from elsewhere around the world can return home to Aotearoa, as well as some skilled workers and those on Working Holiday Scheme visas. The following months will see a staggered allowance of visitors allowed into the country — including tourists from Australia — with most international visitors able to enter by July.

MIQ will still be used in some special cases, including for unvaccinated travellers and those coming from 'high risk' countries. Finally in October, the border will reopen to visitors from anywhere around the world.

New Zealand's border reopening plan was initially proposed in November last year, but was postponed after thousands of cases of the highly transmissible Omicron variant of COVID-19 ripped through Aussie states before emerging in the community here.

The new reopening plan comes after recent mounting pressure to do away with the two-week hotel stay.

Health Minister Chris Hipkins noted in Thursday's press conference that while currently the requirements for travellers returning home to NZ is a 10 day stint of self-isolation, that will shorten to seven days as the country moves into phase two of its pandemic plan and cases of Omicron rise in the community.

Still, it's great news for Kiwis around who have been desperately waiting to return home and for those wanting a sojourn across the ditch and don't mind spending a week indoors binging Netflix after the fact.

Of course, you won't be able to plan a trip to Australia's best beach just yet. Each Australian state has their own border requirements and regulations, and while Queensland has recently opened up to double vaccinated travellers, Western Australia remains shut for the meantime. You'll want to double-check the travel requirements for your intended destination before dreamily planning that getaway.

The border will reopen to vaccinated New Zealanders travelling from Australia at 11.59pm on February 27, before opening to Kiwis from elsewhere around the world on 11.59pm on March 13. To find the full border reopening plan, head to the official NZ Government website.

Published on February 03, 2022 by Sarah Templeton
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