The Irish Times

The Irish Times online. Latest news including sport, analysis, business, weather and more from the definitive brand of quality news in Ireland.

https://www.irishtimes.com/

New Zealand to welcome tourists back from May

New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern said her nation was “ready to welcome the world back” with most tourists allowed to return by May as the nation continues to ease its coronavirus restrictions.

The announcement bought forward the date that tourists from countries including the US, Canada, Britain and much of Europe can visit from the previously announced date of October.

International tourism used to account for about 20 per cent of New Zealand’s foreign income and more than 5 per cent of GDP.

But when the pandemic began, New Zealand enacted some of the world’s strictest border controls and tourism evaporated. The measures were initially credited with saving thousands of lives and allowed New Zealand to eliminate or contain several outbreaks.

With the Omicron variant now spreading throughout the country, the border restrictions have become largely irrelevant.

Ms Ardern said the move would boost the economy.

“Closing our border was one of the first actions we took to stop Covid-19 over two years ago, and its reopening will spur our economic recovery throughout the remainder of the year,” she said.

Under the new timeline, tourists from Australia will be able to visit from April 12th and tourists from other visa-waiver countries can visit from May 1st. Tourists from non-waiver countries – including India and China – will need to wait longer, unless they already have valid visitor visas.

Vaccination

Tourists must be vaccinated and test negative for the virus before leaving their home country and again after arriving in New Zealand.

“I know from visiting tourism operators, and talking to their staff, how tough these past two years have been,” Ms Ardern said. “And not only because of the massive loss of tourism revenue, but because we lost something we derived so much of our identity from.”

New Zealand is renowned for its beautiful scenery and adrenalin-inducing adventure tourism. The announcement comes as a timely boost to ski fields trying to plan for the upcoming Southern Hemisphere winter.

“Tourism operators finally have confirmation they can get back to business,” said Ann-Marie Johnson, a spokesperson for Tourism Industry Aotearoa. “Tourism was the first industry to be affected by the pandemic and will be the last to recover. Tourism operators both large and small have made huge sacrifices but can now focus on rebuilding their businesses.”

Over the past couple of weeks, New Zealand has been reporting about 20,000 new virus cases each day, its biggest outbreak since the pandemic began. The nation’s Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins on Wednesday became the latest high-profile person to test positive.

But experts expect the Omicron outbreak to fade quickly from its peak, as it has in many other countries. – AP

Останні новини
Hannity: Beto O'Rourke is an out of work politician.

Hannity: Beto O'Rourke is an out of work politician.

Fox News host Sean Hannity slammed President Biden for rushing to politicize the Uvalde, Texas shooting in an attempt to score 'political points' on 'Hannity.' #FoxNews #Hannity Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Chan...

Nightly News Full Broadcast - May 25

Nightly News Full Broadcast - May 25

Lester Holt anchors from Uvalde, Texas with an hour of special coverage after the Robb Elementary School mass shooting. We have the latest on the investigation, what we know about the victims, and how lawmakers are responding. » Subscribe to NBC N...

2 230

Bill Barr: It's time to fortify our schools - Fox Across America.

Bill Barr: It's time to fortify our schools - Fox Across America.

Former U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr joins Fox Across America With Jimmy Failla to react to the horrific mass shooting at an elementary school in Uvalde, Texas. #FoxNews Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Li...

Cambodia is set to hold elections, a litmus test for the state of democracy - DW News.

Cambodia is set to hold elections, a litmus test for the state of democracy - DW News.

Cambodians are set to head to the polls early next month for local elections. The polls are being seen as a litmus test for the state of democracy in a country where the main opposition is banned and the Prime Minister has held power for 37 years....

Kellyanne Conway: This is no way to run a country

Kellyanne Conway: This is no way to run a country

Former counselor to President Trump reflects on the primary elections on 'Special Report.' #FoxNews #SpecialReport Subscribe to Fox News! Watch more Fox News Video: Watch Fox News Channel Live: FOX News Channel (FNC) is a 24-hour all-encompassing ...

1 9

BREAKING: Downing Street Chief of Staff 'shocked' about 'disrespect' to cleaning staff.

BREAKING: Downing Street Chief of Staff 'shocked' about 'disrespect' to cleaning staff.

Downing Street Chief of Staff Steve Barclays told Kay Burley he was "shocked" to read about "disrespect" to cleaning staff in Downing Street as was detailed in the Sue Gray report. Senior Civil Servant Ms Gray wrote "I was made aware of multiple e...

1 65