The government held a forum on Thursday morning on the topic of ‘Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World forum.’
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern presented the ‘next steps’ in New Zealand’s COVID-19 response.
The government has laid out plans to open borders from early 2022 on a risk-based model. Risk will be evaluated based on the countries travellers are coming from and whether they are vaccinated.
“A careful approach that says ‘there won’t be zero cases, but when there is one in the community, we crush it’ is the best way to maintain our normal lives while we monitor the twists and turns of Covid-19 over the next six months,” said Ardern.
The new border system will look at individual risk in three categories:
- Low risk: Vaccinated travellers from low risk countries will not be required to isolate on arrival
- Medium risk: Vaccinated travellers from medium risk countries be under modified isolation requirements, such as self-isolation.
- High risk: Unvaccinated travellers and all travellers from high risk countries will spend two weeks in MIQ
Speaking about the vaccination rollout, Ardern announced that the Pfizer vaccination will be available for all eligible New Zealanders by 1 September, regardless of age group.
“As already announced 50 plus will be open from Friday 13th August; 40+ will be open on Wednesday 18th August; 30+ will be open on Wednesday 25th August and from 1 September we will be open for all eligible ages,” Ardern said.