The government will require all non-New Zealand citizens to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 before entering the country, starting November 1.
Covid-19 Minister Chris Hipkins announced on Sunday afternoon that the government would impose this obligation on any traveler to New Zealand over the age of 17 who is not a New Zealand citizen.
Fully vaccinated travelers will still need to spend two weeks in a managed isolation center upon entering New Zealand. The requirement that most travelers get a negative Covid test 72 hours before departure will also remain.
“Most people who come to New Zealand tell us that they are already vaccinated. This requirement makes it formal and will provide an additional layer of protection at the border, ”Hipkins said in a statement.
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“Even a single case presents a risk. However, high and widespread vaccination rates will mean more freedoms, fewer restrictions and the everyday confidence that protection against the virus brings. “
Air New Zealand, early Sunday, announced it would introduce a “no jab, no fly” policy for international travelers, which would come into effect on February 1, 2022.
The national air carrier’s policy would apply to travelers 18 years of age or older and would apply to inbound and outbound flights.
Hipkins said the new government requirement “will work well alongside today’s announcement that everyone on an Air New Zealand plane traveling overseas will need to be fully immunized.”
He said people entering New Zealand will need to provide proof of vaccination – or a “relevant exemption” – to both the airline and customs officials once they land in the country. They will also need to report their immunization status when they enter the managed isolation and quarantine system.
“This requirement will be an interim measure as development continues on the travel health reporting system, which will introduce the ability to digitally verify the immunization status of people arriving in New Zealand,” Hipkins said.
The government would legislate to make the requirement a law. If a person does not provide proof of vaccination, they can be fined $ 4,000.
CSR workers traveling to New Zealand on a non-quarantine travel program will be exempt from this requirement, as will refugees.
People would also have the option of requesting exemptions from the requirement for “humanitarian reasons”, or in cases where a person has not been given the opportunity to be vaccinated.