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New Zealand drops mask, vaccine requirements as it removes most of its COVID-19 rules

Virus Outbreak New Zealand
Posted at 1:57 PM, Sep 12, 2022

New Zealand is welcoming back tourists as the country drops most of its remaining COVID-19 rules.

On Monday, the country announced the removal of its vaccine requirements and mask mandates as the country dropped its COVID traffic light framework just after midnight.

According to the country's ministry of health's website, masks are no longer required to be worn anywhere. Also, travelers coming into the country will no longer need to be vaccinated.

Vaccine mandates for health and disability workers also ended.

However, the country will keep two rules in place: masks must be worn in certain healthcare facilities like hospitals, and those who test positive for the virus must isolate for seven days, the website said.

The website added that places of worship and some workplaces might ask people to wear masks.

News of the country removing most of its COVID rules comes a few months after New Zealand began welcoming back tourists.

In May, the country announced it was reopening its borders to travelers from the U.S. and other countries after they imposed strict COVID borders restrictions in early 2020 to combat the spread of the virus, the Associated Press reported.

According to the news outlet, before the pandemic halted international tourism, more than 3 million tourists a year visited New Zealand.