NZ to open border fully from end of July

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New Zealand will fully reopen its international border from 11.59pm on July 31, with cruise ships also welcome back to local ports on the same day, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says.

The opening is two months earlier than the government's previous time frame and will mean visitors who need visas will be able to go to New Zealand.

Ardern said in a speech to a Business NZ lunch in Auckland that opening the border would help relieve urgent skills shortages, open up tourism and put immigration settings on a more secure footing.

"We are building on our proven plan to secure New Zealand's economic future," Ardern said on Wednesday.

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