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New Zealand to Require All US and UK Travelers to Provide Negative COVID-19 Test Result

New Zealand

New Zealand wants to make summer unstoppable and for this reason, introduced a new precaution.

Travelers from the United Kingdom and the United States bound for New Zealand will be required to show a negative test result for COVID-19 before departing.

The New Zealand government announced that the new PCR test requirement will require travelers from the UK or the US to have a written form, certified by a laboratory or another form of approved evidence, showing a negative result in the 72 hours prior to departure. It will come into force on flights arriving in New Zealand after 11.59pm on 15 January.

Work is underway on similar measures for travelers using most other long-haul routes to New Zealand.

A detailed plan to put the new requirement into action in the UK and the US is being developed with airlines and will be widely communicated in time for 15 January via the Immigration NZ website and contact center, the SafeTravel website and communications directly to airlines so they can contact booked travelers.

Exemptions

A very limited number of people may be exempt, including if they have a medical certificate verifying they have been examined within 72 hours before departure, but are unable to undertake a test for medical reasons. Individuals who have previously had COVID-19 and recovered will also require a medical certificate as evidence.

Enforcement will be managed by an amendment to New Zealand’s Air Border Order to make arriving in New Zealand without evidence of a negative approved test an infringement offence.

COVID-19 Test and Quarantine

From 11:59pm 31 December, anyone traveling to New Zealand from the UK or USA will be required to:

  • have a COVID-19 test on ‘day zero’ within 24 hours of arrival in a managed isolation and quarantine facility
  • remain in your room until the results of the test is known

If you are symptomatic on arrival, you will go straight to a quarantine facility.

If the result of your day zero test is positive, you will be transferred to a quarantine facility. If you test negative, you will need to continue the remainder of your 14 days managed isolation stay at your facility as normal. You will be tested again on day 3 and day 12.

The pre-departure test is an additional requirement to the day zero/day one testing and stay in their room in managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) requirement for arrivals from higher risk countries that came into force last Friday. Travelers from the UK and the US will still have to go through New Zealand’s 14-day quarantine regime.

It reduces the risk of infected passengers on international flights infecting other passengers with COVID-19.

Most of the main transit hubs for flights from the United Kingdom to New Zealand require passengers to have had a negative test 72 hours prior to departure, and Japan and China have currently stopped all flights from the United Kingdom.

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