NEW ZEALAND removed the pre-departure COVID-19 test requirement from Monday (6/20). That way, tourists who will visit this country no longer need to do a COVID-19 test before departure. This step was taken by the New Zealand Government after considering the decline in COVID-19 cases in the country after reopening its borders.

“We have taken a gradual and cautious approach to reopening borders, to ensure we are not overwhelmed by the influx of COVID-19 cases,” said New Zealand’s Minister for COVID-19 Response, Ayesha Verrall.

Initially, the revocation of the pre-departure test requirement would only be carried out on July 31, 2022. However, with cases of COVID-19 infection increasing, even though the border has been reopened, the requirement was finally removed on Monday (6/20).

The revocation of the New COVID-19 test applies to anyone. Launching the official website, the decision applies to anyone and from any country, when they will enter New Zealand. However, when migrants arrive in the country, they are required to perform 2 rapid antigen tests (RAT).

“About 90% of international arrivals carry out the necessary testing once they arrive in New Zealand with a positive rate of only two to three per cent,” Ayesha said.

Thus, we expect no significant increase in cases after the requirement is lifted. As the pre-departure test requirement was removed, the New Zealand government also implemented a series of surveillance measures at the entrance, to detect possible new variants of COVID-19.

“To understand what new variants arrive at the border, travelers will still be required to carry out self-tests on the day of arrival and the 5th or 16th day. If the results of both tests are positive, they must undergo a PCR test,” she remarked.

The lifting of pre-departure tests is just one of several changes the COVID-19 Public Health Response Order (Air Border) has made, to ensure public health measures remain proportionate. Even for passengers who transit at New Zealand Airport as of Monday, they no longer need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 and do not have to complete a New Zealand Traveler Declaration.

Tourists with symptoms such as COVID-19 can also choose between showing a negative COVID-19 test result or a certificate from a health worker stating that he or she has not been exposed to COVID-19 before traveling. [sources/photo special]