New Zealand, an island nation with one of the most strict Covid-19 travel restrictions, has decided to ease entry requirements for international travellers. Starting June 21, the country will not require a pre-departure Covid-19 test from international arrivals to enter New Zealand.
Announcing the latest relaxations Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall in a statement said;
“We’ve taken a careful and staged approach to reopening our borders to ensure we aren’t overwhelmed with an influx of Covid-19 cases. Our strategy has worked and as a result, it’s safe to lift pre-departure test requirements much sooner than planned.”
Ayesha stated that over 90% of foreign arrivals undergo the needed tests once they are in the country, with just a 2-3% positive rate, and that they do not anticipate a significant increase in border cases if the requirement is removed.
She further added “Factors such as the availability of and cost of getting a test are increasingly becoming a barrier for people intending to travel here, especially as other countries wind back testing availability or the requirement for a test on entry themselves.”
Travel to New Zealand?
From 21 June you no longer need a pre-departure test to enter New Zealand;
- Travellers whose first international flight to New Zealand departs after 11:59 pm (NZT) Monday 20 June 2022 do not need pre-departure tests. This applies to people entering New Zealand from anywhere in the world.
- Most travellers still need to be vaccinated and take 2 rapid antigen tests (RATs) after arriving in New Zealand.
- If you transit through New Zealand, you no longer need to be vaccinated or complete the New Zealand Travellers Declaration.
It must be noted that, while the pre-departure test requirements are being lifted, a set of border monitoring measures are still in place to detect any potential new Covid-19 variations.
Furthermore, international travellers will still be asked to self-test on Day 0/1 and again on Day 5/6 in order to identify what new strains of Covid are entering at the border. If either test results in a positive result, patients must then undergo a PCR test.