No Entry Into New Zealand for the Unvaccinated

By Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu is an Australian reporter based in Sydney. She focuses on the Australian economy, property, and education. Contact her at rebecca.zhu@epochtimes.com.au.
October 4, 2021 Updated: October 4, 2021

New Zealand (NZ) will bar all non-citizens over 17 from entering the country from Nov. 1 if they are not fully vaccinated.

“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,” COVID-19 response minister Chris Hipkins said in a statement. “This is an important step in our Reconnecting New Zealand strategy.”

Once they land, travellers will be required to declare their vaccination status and present proof of vaccination or medical exemption.

The statement said an entire course of any of the 22 COVID-19 vaccines approved by the government or authorities, with the last dose at least 14 days before arrival, would be sufficient at this stage. Guidance will also be prepared on what will qualify as proof of vaccination or an exemption.

All travellers will also still be required to undergo 14 days in quarantine, and everyone, except for those in exempt locations, must provide an accredited negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their first scheduled flight.

Hipkins said most people entering NZ are already reporting that they are vaccinated, and this requirement would simply formalise the procedure.

Epoch Times Photo
Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins speaks to the media during a post-cabinet press conference at Parliament on June 28, 2021, in Wellington, New Zealand. (Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

“This requirement will be an interim measure while development continues on the traveller health declaration system, which will introduce the ability to digitally verify the vaccination status of people arriving into New Zealand,” he said.

Those who fail to present proof of vaccination may be subjected to an infringement notice that currently carries a maximum fine of $4,000 (U.S.$2,775).

The new government requirement comes as Air New Zealand announced that all customers aged 18 and over travelling on its international network must be fully vaccinated from Feb. 1, 2022.

“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel—many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors,” Air NZ CEO Greg Foran said. “Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do.”

Air NZ will also require all staff travelling on board to be fully vaccinated as part of its health and safety measures.

“As with anything, there will be some that disagree,” Foran said. “However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers, and the wider New Zealand community.”

Flyers who are not vaccinated will be required to present proof of medical exemption.

At present, around 79 percent of Kiwis have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccination, and 48 percent are fully vaccinated.

Rebecca Zhu
Rebecca Zhu is an Australian reporter based in Sydney. She focuses on the Australian economy, property, and education. Contact her at rebecca.zhu@epochtimes.com.au.