Jacinda Ardern ruins travel plans for tens of thousands by BACKTRACKING on New Zealand’s reopening plan – introducing tough new quarantine requirements to enter the country
- Returning New Zealanders were set to self-isolate at home for a week from Jan 17
- This has now been pushed back to end of February due to Omicron threat
Tens of thousands of New Zealanders have been left heartbroken after their travel plans were ruined again by a decision by Jacinda Ardern to push back quarantine-free entry into the country.
Fully-vaccinated Kiwis returning home from Australia were set to be allowed to self-quarantine for seven days from January 17 but this has now been pushed back to the end of February.
All returning travellers will now have to quarantine in managed isolation rooms with the seven-day limit being increased to 10 days.
Thousands of New Zealanders will no longer be able to self-isolate at home as Jacinda Ardern’s government backtracks on the country’s reopening plan
Travellers will also need to get a test within 48 hours of departure, instead of 72 hours.
The country’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the dramatic change had been made to protect New Zealanders amid the threat of the Omicron Covid-19 variant.
Mr Hipkins said it would also give residents more time to get their booster shot, with the time between people getting their second dose and booster jab now pushed forward from six months to four months.
‘Waiting till the end of February will increase New Zealand’s overall protection and slow Omicron’s eventual spread,’ he said on Tuesday.
Fully-vaccinated Kiwis returning home from Australia were set to be allowed to self-quarantine for seven days from January 17 but this has now been pushed back to the end of February (pictured at Auckland Airport)
‘There’s no doubt this is disappointing and will upset many holiday plans, but it’s important to set these changes out clearly today so they can have time to consider those plans.’
This will mean just over 82 per cent of New Zealanders will be eligible for their booster shot by the end of February.
The government also confirmed the rollout of vaccinations for children aged between five and 11 will begin on January 17.
Mr Hipkins said vaccinations for this age group will not be mandatory.
More to come