New Zealand will ease border restrictions after James Cameron's Avatar film team has been granted special entry permits
- New Zealand will ease its border controls after the turmoil over the film team
- Cameron and a 55-strong crew came to Wellington to shoot a sequel to "Avatar"
- The exemption led to complaints from people who were excluded
- Here's how you can help people affected by Covid-19
New Zealand will make border controls for coronavirus easier, the government said on Friday.
It comes after the decision to let Hollywood director James Cameron into the country to shoot a sequel to "Avatar", which led to rage over double standards.
Cameron and a 55-strong crew came to Wellington from Los Angeles last month after receiving special permission to enter the country to shoot the sequel to his 2009 mega-hit.
Canadian director James Cameron (left) and US producer Jon Landau (right) arrive at Wellington International Airport on May 31 to continue filming the Avatar sequels. A decision to let Hollywood director James Cameron into the country to shoot a sequel to "Avatar" sparked rage over double standards
American producer Jon Landau poses in front of a sign saying "All passengers must isolate themselves for 14 days" while arriving at Wellington International Airport to continue filming the Avatar sequel on May 31
The exemption resulted in complaints from people who were barred from closing the New Zealand border, including a Hong Kong father who missed the birth of his first child.
New Zealand closed its non-national and non-resident border in March and announced this week that it had no active COVID-19 cases and had eliminated the virus transmission.
The companies had pointed out inconsistencies in the application of the rules, whereby Avatar employees were allowed due to the economic influence of the film industry, but the crews of the suspicious America & # 39; s Cup yacht regatta were excluded.
"There is double standard here. It is completely unfair and damages New Zealand's reputation, ”June Ranson, chair of the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment, told RNZ.
Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway said on Friday that the requirement that relatives must travel with a New Zealand citizen or resident to enter the country will be relaxed next week.
Workers are also admitted if they have unique technical or professional skills and are involved in a project of significant regional or national importance.
New Zealand will make border controls for coronavirus easier, the government said on Friday. Above is an Air New Zealand aircraft through windows at Nelson Airport
The mandatory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals – a requirement that means Cameron and his colleagues are still locked up in a Wellington hotel – will continue, he added.
"The bar for granting an exemption from border restrictions is high and remains high to stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of people already living in New Zealand," said Lees-Galloway.
As part of the changes, crew and family members of the crew were approved by two America & # 39; s Cup syndicates, INEOS Team UK and American Magic.
Another two syndicates – Luna Rossa from Italy and Stars & Stripes Team USA – are expected to compete in the Prada Cup challenger series early next year, but their immigration status is unknown.
The winner of the challenge will have the right to win Team New Zealand for the America’s Cup in March.
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