New Zealand has eliminated all COVID-19-related travel restrictions and testing requirements, marking the end of what was once some of the strictest pandemic-era rules all over the world.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern lifted all vaccine restrictions, starting Sept. 13, as well as lifted the requirement to self-test after arrival. Going forward, testing will simply be “encouraged,” however not mandated.
“It’s time to safely turn the page on our COVID-19 management, and live without the extraordinary measures we have previously used,” Ardern said in a statement. “Today marks a milestone in our response. Finally, rather than feeling that COVID dictates what happens to us, our lives, and our futures, we take back control.”
Previously, New Zealand required travelers to show proof of vaccination to enter as well as test right after entry and then again on days 5 to 6 and report the results. The country will still hand out free rapid antigen tests at the airport to incoming travelers, according to the government.