New Zealand adding vaccination requirement as it prepares to reopen its international borders
New Zealand will add a vaccine mandate for international travelers next month.
Starting Nov. 1, New Zealand will require non-citizens to be fully vaccinated before they can enter the country. Children under 17, New Zealand citizens and people who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons are exempt.
Most travelers will still need to complete a 14-day quarantine upon arrival next month and show a negative coronavirus test within 72 hours of their first international flight.
New Zealand COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement Sunday that most visitors are already vaccinated, but the mandate aims to “provide an extra layer of protection at the border.”
“Even a single case presents a risk,” Hipkins said. “However, high and wide-spread vaccination rates will mean more freedoms, fewer restrictions, and the day-to-day confidence that protection from the virus brings.”
Air New Zealand also announced that starting in February 2022, all passengers must be fully vaccinated.
Next year, entry requirements are set to ease as the country reopens its borders to “low risk” countries.
“Our ultimate goal is to get to quarantine-free travel for all vaccinated travelers,” Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this month.