211117 Auckland
People prepare to go fishing from the Orakei Wharf as coronavirus disease (COVID-19) lockdown restrictions are eased in Auckland, New Zealand, November 10, 2021. Image Credit: Reuters

Wellington: Domestic borders of New Zealand’s largest city Auckland will reopen from December 15 for fully vaccinated people and those with negative COVID-19 test results, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said on Wednesday.

“Aucklanders have faced restrictions for an extended period of time to keep the rest of New Zealand safe. But with increased rates of vaccination its time to open up the ability to travel again,” Ardern said at a news conference.

Auckland was cut off from the rest of the country after the outbreak of the Delta variant of COVID-19 in August.

Ardern also said cabinet would confirm on November 29 its decision to move Auckland and the rest of the country into the new traffic-light system, which will end lockdowns and use social distancing and other measures to limit the spread of the virus.