New Zealand Travel Update: Foreign Travellers Must Be COVID-19 Vaccinated

New Zealand Travel Update: Foreign Travellers Must Be COVID-19 Vaccinated

New Zealand’s government announced that starting 1 November, all foreign nationals entering the country will need to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated.

To further reduce the possibility of the virus getting through our border, we are introducing the requirement for air travelers aged 17 and over, who are not New Zealand citizens, to be fully vaccinated to enter New Zealand.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins

Hipkins explained that inbound foreign travellers will have to declare their vaccination status when registering with New Zealand’s managed isolation system, and present proof of vaccination or an approved exemption to their airline, as well as to customs officers upon arrival.

New Zealand’s borders are closed to non-essential travel so the policy applies to people who have been cleared to travel to New Zealand for essential purposes or those coming from an approved quarantine-free zone.

Foreign travellers will still be required to quarantine for 14 days upon entry, and all arrivals, aside from those originating in a handful of exempted countries, will need to provide negative results from a COVID-19 test taken within 72 hours of their first international flight.

New Zealand’s Vaccine Passport

Government officials are also working on creating a traveller health declaration system, which will introduce the ability to digitally verify people’s vaccination status at the border.

Fully vaccinated passengers except for those coming from exempt locations will also be required to present a negative COVID-19 result from a test taken no more than 72 hours of boarding their flight.

New Zealand is accepting a wide range of vaccines for entry, provided the vaccine is approved by a government or approval authority, though more guidance is expected to follow. 

Flag carrier Air New Zealand announced that starting 1 February 2022, it will require all passengers flying on international routes to be fully vaccinated regardless of any destination.

A date on when international tourism will return to New Zealand has yet to be announced, though it’s likely to be early next year when most of the population is fully vaccinated and the digital traveller declaration system is in place.

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