Requirements for travellers coming to NZ confirmed
The Government has revealed more requirements for international travellers coming to New Zealand, as the country prepares to open back up as Covid cases surge.
It includes pre-departure tests, vaccination requirements and self-isolation.
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said from February 28, “travellers to New Zealand – starting with Kiwis and other current eligible travellers from Australia – will be able to enter without staying in MIQ as long as they are fully vaccinated, return a negative test before flying and spend seven days in self-isolation, taking two rapid antigen tests”.
Travellers would need to provide a pre-departure test, which could be a PCR test within 48 hours of flying, a supervised rapid antigen test or LAMP (loop-mediated isothermal amplification) test within 24 hours.
“Minimum vaccination requirements have been updated and will apply to travellers aged 17 years or older,” Hipkins said.
From the end of March they would also need to complete an online declaration prior to travel and upload evidence of vaccination and a negative pre departure test. Currently they would be manually checked by airline staff at check-in.
“They will need to confirm where they are staying in New Zealand, and cannot stay in a place with shared group facilities such as a backpackers or a hostel.”
Once they arrived into New Zealand, they would need to download the Covid tracer app and take three RATs home.
They then needed to travel directly to their isolation accommodation and not visit anyone or enter shops or businesses.
The traveller would need to wear a mask, sanitise and distance as much as possible.
Once they arrived at their place of isolation, they must stay for seven full days and report the results of two rapid antigen tests on day 0/1 and on day 5/6. The isolation period was dependent on New Zealand’s isolation rules for close contacts. Under Phase 2 of the Omicron plan, which would kick in from Wednesday, the isolation period for close contacts reduces to seven days.
If they test positive for Covid they would need to get a PCR test “to monitor for any new Covid-19 variants”.
“They can form a bubble with family or friends, who can continue to go to work or school, but must minimise contact with others as much as possible. No visitors are allowed,” Hipkins said.
“Travellers 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 visiting a high risk location such as a hospital or aged care facility and need to follow public health measures.”
Travelling to place of isolation
Previously, Hipkins said travellers could also travel domestically to their location of isolation – including air travel.
When asked about public transport, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said earlier this month that New Zealanders “do tend to come in and be picked up on arrival and they will continue to do so”.
“At that point we do expect we will have Omicron cases in our community and we will be dealing with them on a daily basis.”
Household members during isolation
Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins was asked about home isolation requirements during the last border announcement, and said other household members could come and go.
A spokesperson for the Prime Minister said that was still the case, with others allowed to leave and go about their lives.