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NZ announces new COVID testing requirements for border entry

NZ announces new COVID testing requirements for border entry

New rules have been announced by the New Zealand Government regarding who will need to present evidence of a negative COVID test upon entering the country.

NZ announces new COVID testing requirements for border entry

In a statement released on Tuesday, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said a pre-departure test requirement will soon expand to travellers from all countries and territories except Australia, Antarctica and some Pacific Island nations.

The announcement is an expansion of a previously announced measure which stated that from Friday at 11.59pm, travellers from the UK and the US would be required to return a negative COVID test result 72 hours before departing to New Zealand.

Hipkins also announced that Day 0/1 testing would also be introduced at Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) facilities for all passengers arriving from any destination apart from the aforementioned excepted nations.

The new test upon arrival in New Zealand will be in addition to routine Day 3 and Day 12 tests in MIQ.

It comes as new, highly contagious variants of COVID-19 continue to wreak havoc overseas.

The new measure has been taken after experts urged tougher border rules to prevent the variants spreading in New Zealand and forcing the country back into lockdown.

“Given the high rates of infection in many countries and evidence of the global spread of more transmissible variants, it’s clear that most global air routes will be of critical concern for the foreseeable future, and we must respond strongly to the evolving situation,” Chris Hipkins said.

“New Zealand is currently in a very fortunate position with no community cases – let alone of new variant types – but we take nothing for granted.

“That’s why we continue to take action, with very specific steps to further strengthen our response at the air border.”

Further information about the announcement, including exemptions, can be found here.

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