Confirmation of requirements for travelers coming to New Zealand

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The government has revealed more requirements for international travelers coming to New Zealand as the country prepares to reopen as Covid cases rise.

It includes pre-departure testing, vaccination requirements and self-isolation.

Minister for Covid-19 Response Chris Hipkins said from February 28 that “travellers to New Zealand – starting with Kiwis and other currently eligible travelers from Australia – will be able to enter without staying at MIQ as long as they are fully vaccinated, return a negative test before flying and spend seven days in isolation, passing two rapid antigen tests”.

Before the journey

Travelers should provide a pre-departure test, which could be a PCR test within 48 hours of flight, a supervised rapid antigen test or a LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test within 24 hours.

“Minimum vaccination requirements have been updated and will apply to travelers aged 17 or older,” Hipkins said.

From the end of March, they will also have to complete an online declaration before traveling and upload proof of vaccination and a negative test before departure. Currently, they would be checked manually by airline staff at check-in.

“They will need to confirm where they are staying in New Zealand and cannot stay somewhere with shared group facilities such as a backpacker or hostel.”

Arrival

Once they arrive in New Zealand, they are expected to download the Covid tracer app and bring home three RATs.

They were then to go straight to their isolation accommodation and not visit anyone or enter any shops or businesses.

The traveler will have to wear a mask, disinfect themselves and move away as much as possible.

Isolation

Once they arrive at their place of isolation, they must stay for a full seven days and report the results of two rapid antigen tests on day 0/1 and day 5/6. The period of isolation depended on New Zealand’s isolation rules for close contacts. Under Phase 2 of the Omicron plan, which would come into effect from Wednesday, the isolation period for close contacts is reduced to seven days.

If they test positive for Covid, they will need to take a PCR test “to monitor for any new variants of Covid-19”.

“They can form a bubble with family or friends, who can continue to go to work or school, but should minimize contact with others as much as possible. No visitors are allowed,” Hipkins said.

“Travelers will be able to temporarily leave self-isolation in special circumstances, such as visiting terminally ill relatives, to access urgent healthcare or to attend court hearings, but will be encouraged to take a RAT if they visit a high risk location such as a hospital or aged care facility and should follow public health measures.”

Go to a place of isolation

Previously, Hipkins said travelers could also travel within the country to their place of isolation – including air travel.

Asked about public transport, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier this month that New Zealanders “tend to come in and be picked up on arrival and they will continue to do so”.

“At this point, we expect to have Omicron cases in our community and will be dealing with them daily.”

Household members during isolation

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins was asked about home isolation requirements during the Border’s latest announcement, and said other household members could come and go.

A spokesman for the prime minister said that was still the case, with other people allowed to leave and live their lives.

Jacinda Ardern reveals New Zealand’s new border reopening dates.

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