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NZ lifts pre-departure Covid tests for travellers


Wellington, June 16 (IANS) Travellers to New Zealand will no longer require a pre-departure Covid test from June 20, a Minister said here on Thursday.

“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,” Xinhua news agency quoted Covid-19 Response Minister Ayesha Verrall as saying in a statement.

Around 90 per cent of international arrivals undertake their required testing once they are in the country, with only a 2-3 per cent positivity rate, she said, adding they 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,” the Minister said.

While the pre-departure test requirements are being removed, a set of border surveillance measures are kept in place for detecting any possible new variants of Covid-19, she said.

In order to understand what new strains of Covid are arriving at the border, travellers will still be required to self-test on Day 0/1 and again on Day 5/6.

If the result of either test is positive, they must then get a PCR test, she added.


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