After keeping Covid at the borders for two years, Niue has announced its plans to ease MIQ protocols for travellers.
From 11 July, travellers will be allowed to visit without having to enter quarantine or self-isolate.
This is step three of a five-stage reopening plan announced by the Niuean government last Friday.
Step one will allow travellers to visit from 18 April. However, they must enter MIQ for seven days then complete a further three days of home self-isolation. Additional testing will also be required.
This is followed with a slight loosening of the rules from 02 May with step two, which will require seven days of self-isolation and three days of restricted public movement.
Step three, on 11 July, allows travellers to fly to Niue and start their holiday immediately, without having to quarantine or self-isolate.
Step four on August 8 will see passenger flights move from fortnightly to weekly, with limited passenger numbers until October 10, when step five sees all passenger number restrictions lifted.
Pre-departure requirements have not yet been confirmed. However, currently, all arrivals must be fully vaccinated (two doses and a booster), provide a negative pre-departure test and have been in New Zealand for at least 14 consecutive days before departure.
Unlike other destinations that have opened up, Niue is one of the few countries that has managed to keep Covid-19 at the border since its first case in March 2022, according to Premier of Niue Dalton Tagelagi.
Despite the emergence of new variants, health officials said it was safe to open up to small island nations, granted they had response protocols in place.
“We are now able to begin to safely open up Niue again with a staggered approach to allow us time to responsibly manage these changes that are inevitable,” he said.
The opening would be “integral” for Niue’s economic recovery, Tagelagi added.
Quarantine-free travel to New Zealand has been available for passengers from Niue since Wednesday, 24 March, 2022.
This announcement of a seven-day quarantine is the first step towards Niue entering into a reciprocal agreement.
With high vaccination rates and new hospital isolation wings, the country will be well prepared for the additional risks travellers can bring.
Currently, 99.4 percent of Niue’s population aged 12 years and older is vaccinated. Tagelagi said their paediatric Covid-19 vaccination programme for 5 to 11-year-olds, would also be complete before the next stage of opening on 03 May.
In addition, Niue Foou Hospital will also have a new Isolation wing, which will better manage any positive cases that require hospitalisation.
Since Niue will maintain its current border setting, anyone who applies to travel to Niue will still need Government approval to enter.
SOURCE: NZ HERALD/PACNEWS