New Zealand said on Friday that it would allow entry of some maritime vessels as it looks to open up its economy after lifting all coronavirus restrictions earlier this week.
Cruise ships and people traveling for leisure, however, will continue to be banned from entering the country, the government said in a statement.
New Zealand lifted all social and economic restrictions except border controls after declaring on Monday it was free of the coronavirus, one of the first countries in the world to return to pre-pandemic normality.
It’s now looking to kick-start its economy that was battered by the lockdown.
The government said it will allow entry to those arriving at the maritime border, where there is a compelling need for the vessel to travel to New Zealand.
Border restrictions will also no longer apply to replacement cargo ship crew arriving in New Zealand by air and transferring straight to a cargo ship set to leave its shores.
This will help keep the shipping routes open, said the statement.
Most maritime journeys to New Zealand take more than 14 days, so crew and others can self-isolate en route.
Two syndicates challenging for the America’s Cup have also been granted exemptions to enter New Zealand and begin their preparations for the event that will be held in Auckland early next year.
(Reporting by Praveen Menon; Editing by Shri Navaratnam)