The Government will review whether Kiwis returning to New Zealand will need to self-isolate upon arrival said Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.
Yesterday, new community cases of Covid-19 hit a record of 6137. At the border, just eight cases were detected.
From February 27 New Zealand citizens and residents arriving from Australia can self-isolate for seven days instead of entering a MIQ facility if they are fully vaccinated and test negative before departure.
Meanwhile, in New Zealand, a move to phase 3 of the Omicron response means only positive Covid-19 cases and members of their household are required to isolate.
This means one would not have to isolate, even after being in close proximity for an extended period of time with a person who tests positive for Covid-19.
One could attend a gym class, sit in a meeting, dine at a restaurant or get their hair cut in close proximity to an unknowingly infectious person, and even after that person tests positive, you do not need to get a test or isolate unless you become symptomatic.
In response, Hipkins said they were getting advice on whether people should still need to self-isolate on arrival in New Zealand and expected to receive it within two weeks. Future decisions would be made based on the information and rolled out within the next month.
From March 13, all Kiwis can return from around the world but they will need to self-isolate.
Wider tourism will be possible from July, when travellers can visit New Zealand if they are fully vaccinated, test negative before departure and self-isolate upon arrival. This date could be brought forward according to Hipkins.
Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA) said they were 'reassured' by the plan to review self-isolation requirements for visitors.
"With the move to phase three of the Omicron response, the rationale for keeping self-isolation rules in place no longer exists," said TIA spokesperson Ann-Marie Johnson, who said self-isolation would discourage visitors.
"While these requirements are in place, Aotearoa New Zealand will remain off the radar for high-value international holidaymakers," Johnson said. "Few people will want to spend the first few days of their New Zealand holiday in self-isolation."
A recent visitor insights study from strategy company Angus & Associated found most Kiwis supported the reopening of borders and TIA were working on their own evidence-based case for self-isolation requirements.
This will be provided to the government as soon as possible, according to Johnson.