New Zealand Entry Requirements: Foreign Travelers Must Be COVID-19 Vaccinated
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New Zealand’s government announced that starting November 1, all foreign nationals entering the country will need to be fully COVID-19 vaccinated. COVID-19. National carrier Air New Zealand also said on Sunday that passengers on its international flights will be required to be fully vaccinated.

COVID-19. Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement: “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,” he said.

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Hipkins explained that inbound foreign travelers 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.

Foreign travelers 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.

“We have a different approach to COVID within our sights, and in our hands,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, according to Reuters. “So, as we all look ahead and think about summer, and the plans we are making, make the first step a vaccine. It is the thing that will make those summer plans possible.”

“Most people coming to New Zealand tell us they are already vaccinated,” Hipkins said, according to CNN Travel. “This requirement makes it formal and will provide an extra layer of protection at the border.”


New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern
New Zealand’s Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, photographed in 2019. (photo via Flickr/nevada.halbert)

The announcement arrived as the prime minister also issued a five-day lockdown order for parts of the Waikato region, located 91 miles south of Auckland—the nation’s largest city.

In mid-August, Arden had implemented what was intended as a “short and sharp” nationwide lockdown in response to an outbreak of the Delta variant in Auckland, which hasn’t yet been stamped out. The North Island metropolis remains at an Alert Level 3, while the rest of the country stands at an Alert Level 2, meaning that normal life can mostly resume, though there are still caps on attendance at gatherings.

Also on Sunday, flag carrier Air New Zealand announced that, starting February 1, 2022, it will require all passengers flying on international routes to be fully vaccinated—one of the strictest policies to be adopted among all the world’s airlines.


Air New Zealand Dreamliner in flight
Air New Zealand Dreamliner in flight. (Photo via Air New Zealand)

“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel—many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors,” Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran said in a statement. “As with anything, there will be some that disagree. However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community.”

According to Reuters, New Zealand has announced tentative plans to reopen its borders to the wider world early next year, having kept them tightly sealed to anyone other than Kiwis since the start of the pandemic.

Last month, Australia’s largest airline, Qantas, likewise announced that it would require all passengers boarding its international flights to be COVID-19 vaccinated, making it one of the world’s first airlines to mandate immunization for everyone onboard.

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