New Zealand Welcomes Back Tourists as Pandemic Rules Eased

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New Zealand welcomed tourists from the U.S., Canada, Britain, Japan and more than 50 other countries for the first time in more than two years Monday after dropping most of its remaining pandemic border restrictions, the Associated Press reported. The country has long been renowned for its breathtaking scenery and adventure tourism offerings such as bungy jumping and skiing. Before the spread of COVID-19, more than 3 million tourists visited each year, accounting for 20% of New Zealand’s foreign income and more than 5% of the overall economy. But international tourism stopped altogether in early 2020 after New Zealand imposed some of the world’s toughest border restrictions. The border rules remained in place as the government at first pursued an elimination strategy and then tried to tightly control the spread of the virus. The spread of omicron and vaccinations of more than 80% of New Zealand’s 5 million population prompted the gradual easing of restrictions. Read more.
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