New Zealand travel corridor open with Tonga, Samoa, Vanuatu permit workers free travel

 New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced the decision at a press conference on August 2 announced its decision to permit seasonal workers quarantine-free travel from certain countries. Accordingly, Seasonal workers will be able to travel to New Zealand from Tonga, Samoa and Vanuatu without undergoing a two-week stay in managed isolation, the Government has announced. The Government is keen to get the arrangement in place before September but the decision has only been made in principle by Cabinet.

The new travel corridor is targeted at helping industries reliant on seasonal workers from the Pacific, such as horticulture, and is part of a wider Government push to design a path out of the pandemic, with more details expected next week. The Government is allowing 150 Recognised Seasonal Employer (RSE) workers into managed isolation every two weeks but this scheme will allow everyone from those Pacific nations to skip managed isolation entirely.

The new quarantine-free travel for seasonal workers will assist industries reliant on seasonal workers from the Pacific, such as horticulture and agriculture, Jacinda Ardern said. The three Pacific countries have largely managed Covid-19 well, with no record of community transmissions. Samoa and Vanuatu have recorded three and four imported cases respectively, with no new cases in recent months.

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