(CMR) International travelers to New Zealand will be required to have received the COVID-19 vaccine at least 14 days before travel as of November 1. This requirement will not eliminate the 14 days of quarantine now needed.
In addition, all international travelers, except those from a few exempt locations, will need to show a negative COVID-19 test result taken within 72 hours of their flight.
“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,” Chris Hipkins, Minister in charge of the country's COVID-19 response, said in a statement.
“Most people coming to New Zealand tell us they are already vaccinated. This requirement makes it formal and will provide an extra layer of protection at the border,” Hipkins said.
Travelers will have to provide proof of vaccination, or a valid medical exemption, to their airline upon check-in and also NZ customs officers on landing. New Zealand has approved 22 vaccines.
The country's airline, Air New Zealand, will also require that from February 2022, all passengers on its international flights will need to be vaccinated.
“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel,” Air New Zealand CEO 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,” he added.