WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — New Zealand’s government will end its quarantine requirements for incoming travelers and reopen its borders.
The change is welcomed by thousands of citizens abroad who have endured long waits to return home.
Since the start of the pandemic, New Zealand has enacted some of the world’s strictest border controls.
Most incoming passengers need to spend 10 days in a quarantine hotel room run by the military, creating a bottleneck.
The border controls were credited with saving lives, but they've increasingly been seen as out-of-step with the virus taking root in much of the world.
Quarantine will be lifted for vaccinated New Zealanders by mid-March while most foreigners will have to wait until October.
The unvaccinated will still have to quarantine.