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New Zealand Tightens Travel Rules for Foreign Nationals!

On Sunday, New Zealand announced that it would tighten its travel rules and implement stricter border restrictions as new cases of Covid-19 emerged in areas previously free of the virus.

Therefore, in line with the latest travel rules, all foreign nationals entering New Zealand will need to be double jabbed from November 1. 

According to Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins, travellers will have to declare their vaccination status when registering with the country’s isolation system and provide proof of vaccination or exemption to their airline and customs officers on landing.

“To further reduce the possibility of the virus getting through our border, we are introducing the requirement for air travellers aged 17 and over, who are not New Zealand citizens, to be fully vaccinated to enter New Zealand,” he said.

The decision came as New Zealand’s Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardem, placed a region outside Auckland under a five-day lockdown as the country’s Covid-19 Delta variant outbreak continues to spread.

As per these travel rules, foreign nationals arriving in New Zealand will have to spend 14 days in quarantine. All travellers — except those from exempt locations — will still need to show a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of their first scheduled international flight.

“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.

Air New Zealand, the national flag carrier of the destination, also announced a ‘no jab, no-fly’ policy for passengers on all international flights from February 1 2022.

According to the press release, any government-approved vaccine is acceptable, and the last dose must have been received at least 14 days before the arrival. Failure to do so, or provide proof of vaccination, could lead to a fine of up to £2,900. 

In more recent news, the country has also redefined its measures to tackle the new variant. 

The country, which has reported just 27 deaths from the virus, had a zero-tolerance approach through strict lockdowns and aggressive contact tracing. 

But officials have reconsidered this approach due to the availability of vaccines.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has now announced a cautious plan to ease lockdown restrictions in Auckland.

She said: “For this outbreak, it’s clear that long periods of heavy restrictions have not got us to zero cases.”

“But that is OK. Elimination was important because we didn’t have vaccines. Now we do, so we can begin to change the way we do things.”

According to figures, about 65% of New Zealand citizens have had at least one dose, while 40% of the nation’s civilians are fully vaccinated.

What are your thoughts on the newly implemented travel rules?

Do you see the country’s travel rules for foreign travellers easing soon? Let us know!

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