Starting Sunday, a new policy is expected to lift the quarantine time for travelers going to New Zealand from the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, South Korea, Sweden, and the Czech Republic. Most countries already extended the time in 2013 to two weeks, the vast majority from 16 to 21 days. Australia, Ireland, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States could still impose quarantine restrictions if they chose. New Zealand had previously only only closed its borders after a threat of terrorism. Now, the restriction will be lifted after one day. As seen in the photo above, a few Australian police in the front line of New Zealand’s strict quarantine policy against fly fishing.
New Zealand has “defied the current international trend towards lowered requirements for air travel by new democracies,” wrote Rob Griffiths, the deputy editor of The Guardian’s Asia desk, in July. “For years, New Zealand — famously labeled the ‘New Zealand of the South Pacific’ — has operated a voluntary quarantine regime that was believed to be the most relaxed in the world. But it is about to abolish the one of the most elaborate mandatory regimes in the world,” he wrote.
Brittany MacFarlane at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) reported in August that one Republican senator, Lindsey Graham, said the new rules made him uneasy: “They’re going to turn every person that comes here into a suspect. They’re asking for a whole lot of information from people that doesn’t need to be. I think it would, by some measures, make us a more dangerous place than we already are.” A 45-day U.S. quarantine for travelers arriving from Canada or the U.K. would still be possible, but the new policy removes those restrictions for travelers from other countries, and asks them to provide additional information about any illnesses they may have.