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Covid-19Tourism Industry Aotearoa is reassured to hear the Government plans to review the self-isolation requirements for visitors entering the country.

During today’s media conference, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said he expected to get advice on self-isolation over the next two weeks and that decisions would be made within the next month.

Vaccinated Kiwis will be able to fly into New Zealand from Australia without having to go into MIQ from 11.59 pm on Sunday 27 February. However, they will be required to self-isolate for seven days.

New Zealand’s borders are scheduled to progressively open to international manuhiri over the next few months but all vaccinated arrivals will be required to self-isolate.

“While these requirements are in place, Aotearoa New Zealand will remain off the radar for high-value international holidaymakers. Few people will want to spend the first few days of their New Zealand holiday in self-isolation,” TIA Communications Manager Ann-Marie Johnson says.

“The sooner we can signal intentions and timelines for reopening both our air and maritime borders without the requirement for self-isolation, the sooner tourism operators can get back to doing what they do best,” Ms Johnson says.

In its latest visitor insights research, strategy company Angus & Associates found that despite the emergence of Omicron in the community, the majority of Kiwis still support a reopening of the border.

“With the move to Phase 3 of the Omicron response, the rationale for keeping self-isolation rules in place no longer exists. We are now seeing thousands of new cases in the community every day but only a handful at the border,” Ms Johnson says.

International air services require travellers to be vaccinated and all will be tested before arrival in New Zealand.

TIA is working on an evidence-based case for removing self-isolation requirements and will provide this to the Government as soon as possible.

Edited by: Stephen Morton