New Zealand is one of the most anticipated destinations for travelers to visit once again and the country is getting closer to welcoming visitors from the U.S. and Canada once again.

The government is starting to reopen, slowly welcoming back citizens, permanent residents and travelers through a step-by-step plan announced by Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. New Zealand is currently planning to welcome visitors from the U.S. back in July of this year.

“We are thrilled to be one step closer to being able to welcome back international visitors to New Zealand and showcasing the best New Zealand has to offer,” Sarah Handley, General Manager for Americas & Europe for Tourism New Zealand said. “We look forward to keeping industry and our partners closely updated on New Zealand’s plan to reconnect with the world”.

Flights will begin to ramp up. Travelers can get to New Zealand with flights directly from Los Angeles to Auckland. A direct 12-hour flight allows visitors to wake up in New Zealand with carefully timed routes. Before COVID-19 shutdown global travel, there were flights from other major U.S. cities. Nonstop flights from San Francisco, Vancouver, Houston, Chicago and Honolulu are scheduled to return in 2022.

Quarantine will not be required for visitors but there are steps they will need to take for entry:

—All travelers entering New Zealand must be fully vaccinated in line with New Zealand government entry requirements.

—A negative pre-departure test (PCR, LAMP or Rapid Antigen) in line with New Zealand government requirements is required for all travelers.

—No compulsory requirement for all arriving travelers to either self-isolate or enter a government-managed isolation hotel, i.e. all forms of isolation for arriving travelers (including foreign nationals) are removed at all border reopening steps except for unvaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents returning to the country.

—All travelers will be provided with two rapid antigen tests at no charge upon arrival at Auckland Airport. The tests are self-administered after exiting from the airport.

—Travelers will be asked to undertake the first test on the day of arrival and then a second test on day 5 after arrival, this can be done once travelers have left the airport home or hotel.

—Travelers who test positive via either of their arrival day or day 5 RAT test will be required to take PCR test to confirm positive status, if positive they will then be asked to self-isolate in line with the requirements that apply to all community COVID-19 cases in New Zealand.

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