New Zealand has announced that it will no longer require inbound travellers to conduct a Covid-19 pre-departure test effective June 20, 23.59.
The move brings forward the initial date planned for the change by six weeks, or July 31.
“We’ve taken a careful and staged approach to reopening our borders to ensure we aren’t overwhelmed with an influx of Covid-19 cases. Our strategy has worked and as a result it’s safe to lift pre-departure test requirements much sooner than planned,” said Covid-19 response minister Ayesha Verrall in a press statement.
“Around 90 per cent of international arrivals undertake their required testing once they are in the country, with only a two to three per cent positivity rate. So we don’t anticipate a significant increase in border cases once the requirement is lifted.”
“Factors such as the availability of and cost of getting a test are increasingly becoming a barrier for people intending to travel here, especially as other countries wind back testing availability or the requirement for a test on entry themselves,” she added.
However, New Zealand will still have a set of border surveillance measures for detecting any possible new variants of Covid-19, including requiring travellers to self-test on Day 0/1 and again on Day 5/6. A positive result would then require a PCR test.
Separately, travellers transiting through New Zealand will no longer need to be vaccinated, nor be required to complete a New Zealand Traveller Declaration.