New Zealand to open borders by end-July

WAM (File photo)

New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday the country will fully reopen its international borders from 11:59 p.m. on July 31, with cruise ships also welcome back to local ports on the same day.

The opening of the border is two months earlier than the government's previous time frame and will mean visitors who need visas will now be able to come to New Zealand.

Ardern said in a speech to a Business NZ lunch in Auckland that opening the borders would help to relieve urgent skills shortages, open up tourism and put immigration settings on a more secure footing.

"We are building on our proven plan to secure New Zealand's economic future," Ardern said.

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