Singapore residents who are hoping to travel to New Zealand this year, here's some bad news.
New Zealand is unlikely to reopen its borders to most parts of the world in 2021.
Unlikely to reopen borders in 2021
The Prime Minister of New Zealand, Jacinda Ardern said that reopening will bring "too great a risk" to the people's health and country's economy, NZ Herald reported on Jan. 27.
The country's borders are expected to be "impacted for much of this year", Ardern said.
New Zealand will only pursue travel bubbles with Australia and the Pacific on either country-by-country level or state-by-state level.
Last August, Singapore unilaterally allowed general travel to low-risk countries like Brunei and New Zealand.
But the lift in travel restriction was not reciprocated by New Zealand.
First Covid-19 case in months
New Zealand recently confirmed its first Covid-19 case in the community on Jan. 25 after more than two months.
The 56-year-old tested positive for the South African strain of Covid-19 after being quarantined for two weeks and having tested negative twice.
The emergence of the case prompted Australia to suspend its travel bubble with New Zealand for 72 hours.
Ardern also said on Jan. 26 that the first batch of Covid-19 vaccines will arrive in the country by end of March with priority given to border workers.
The government aims to start vaccinating the general public in mid-2021, its Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins added.
Ardern also said that the government had purchased a "diverse portfolio" of vaccines, including the one from Pfizer-BioNTech.
However, New Zealand's specific vaccination timeline remains unclear.
Top photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images