Auckland Is Coming Out of Lockdown So You Can Travel Around New Zealand This December
Come mid-December, Aucklanders will finally be able to freely travel between regions, after showing proof of vaccination or a negative COVID test.
Dust off your carry-on bags Kiwis: From mid-December, locked-down Aucklanders will finally be able to travel around the country for the festive season.
After weeks of speculation over how the Government would handle the busy Christmas period, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern revealed in a press conference on Wednesday, November 17, the entirety of New Zealand is set to move to its proposed 'traffic light system' on Monday, November 29. Then come Wednesday, December 15, Aucklanders will be able to travel outside the region to see friends and family for the first time in over three months.
To lower the risk of COVID-19 spreading from Auckland to other parts of the country, travellers will have to be either fully vaccinated or return a negative COVID test within 72 hours of departure. Random spot checks will be taken by police along the motorways leading out of Auckland, with travellers at airports required to show either negative test results or official Government-regulated vaccine passes before flying. Interislander ferries will also follow these requirements, to avoid spread to the South Island. Those who break the rules could face fines up to $1000.
The new travel requirement will be in place for the core summer period: December 15, 2021 to January 17, 2022.
"Aucklanders have faced restrictions for an extended period of time to keep the rest of New Zealand safe. But with increased rates of vaccination it's time to open up the ability to travel again," the Prime Minster said. She said the move means Aucklanders can now book their summer travel and accomodation "with confidence", while businesses around the country can plan for summer travellers.
"The boundary is of course two ways, so the changes also mean Aucklanders and Auckland businesses can start receiving New Zealanders from all over the country, allowing families and friends to reconnect and businesses to receive a much needed boost before Christmas."
The decision was due in large part, Ardern said, due to the country's vaccination levels: New Zealand is currently sitting at 82 percent fully vaccinated, with around 90 percent expected by mid-December.
Published on November 17, 2021 by Sarah Templeton