Why Now’s the Time to Book that New Zealand Vacation

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New Zealand has been closed to international travelers since March 2020. The Oceanic island implemented some of the strictest COVID-19 protocols in the world, limiting its case numbers to 18,500 and its deaths to 53—pretty impressive when you consider the U.S. has recorded over 900,000 deaths. The country’s protocols have been so strict that just last month New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Arden canceled her wedding plans due to an Omicron wave.

But sentiments are shifting in New Zealand. Along with Australia, the country is starting to lift restrictions. On February 3, Arden released a five step plan to reopen the country to international travelers. Starting February 27, fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens—many of whom haven’t seen family in months—will be allowed to travel home from Australia, self-isolating for 10 days. Unvaccinated citizens will have to isolate in state-run quarantine facilities.

By July, Arden says the country will reopen to all travelers from Australia and visa waiver countries, including the U.S., Canada, the U.K., and a long list of European countries. As of the current plan, these visitors will still have to self-isolate at their accommodations for 10 days, but this isolation period could be reduced as COVID cases drop within the country.

By October, Arden says she hopes to have New Zealand reopened to all visitors.

Considering the generous cancellation policies airlines currently have on offer, plus the prediction that flight prices will increase as Omicron wanes, now might be the ideal time to book that summer trip to New Zealand. 

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