Jacinda Ardern destroys travel plans of thousands by backing off plan to reopen New Zealand – as government introduces new entry requirements
- Returning New Zealanders are set to self-isolate at home for a week from January 17
- This has now been postponed to the end of February due to the threat of Omicron
The travel plans of thousands of New Zealanders have been destroyed after Jacinda Ardern’s government backed away from plans to allow self-isolation at home.
Fully vaccinated kiwis repatriated from Australia were due to be allowed to self-quarantine for seven days from January 17, but that has now been pushed back to the end of February.
All returning travelers will now have to self-quarantine in managed isolation rooms with the ceiling raised from seven to ten days.
Travelers will also need to take a test within 48 hours of departure, instead of 72 hours.
The country’s Covid-19 response minister, Chris Hepkins, said the move was taken to protect New Zealanders amid the changing threat of Omicron Covid-19.
Mr Hepkins said it would also allow residents more time to get a booster dose, as the time between people getting the second dose and the booster vaccine has now been pushed from six months to four months.
“Waiting until the end of February will increase New Zealand’s overall protection and ultimately slow the spread of Omicron,” he said on Tuesday.
Thousands of New Zealanders will no longer be able to self-isolate at home as Jacinda Ardern’s government rolls back plan to reopen the country
“There is no doubt that this is disappointing and will upset many vacation plans, but it is important to clearly identify these changes today so that they can have time to consider those plans.”
This means that just over 82 per cent of New Zealanders will be eligible for the booster shot by the end of February.
The government also confirmed that the start of vaccinations for children between the ages of 5 and 11 will begin on January 17.
More is coming