At midnight yesterday, Monday 8 June, New Zealand moved to Alert Level 1 as the country now has zero active COVID-19 cases.
This means there are no longer restrictions on physical distancing, people can go to restaurants, cafes and bars and attend events of any size, indoors and outdoors. Life within New Zealand is pretty much back to the way things were BC (Before COVID). The Government will continue to focus on hand hygiene and enhanced contact tracing but this won’t impact most people’s day-to-day life and business.
New Zealand border restrictions remain in place for now
The one big difference that remains in place are the strict border controls. Anyone permitted to enter the country will have to isolate for 14 days and will be tested for Coronavirus twice during that time. Jacinda Ardern was keen to emphasize that while there continues to be a risk of further infection of COVID-19 in the rest of the world, the strict border control measures would remain in place.
While there is no real change to border controls at this time we continue to see an increase in INZ staff returning to work and their capacity to process applications. Priority will be given to applications for critical workers to support the Government response to COVID-19 and for other temporary visa applicants that are in New Zealand.
However we expect to see amendments made to the prioritisation criteria as international travel restrictions change, and more information becomes available about the effects of COVID-19 on the domestic labour market.