This week, New Zealand dropped the requirement of international visitors to have been vaccinated against Covid-19 and testing twice and reporting the results.
There has also been a change in mask requirements. They are still required in healthcare facilities but optional everywhere else. You no longer need them on public transportation, airports, or onboard aircraft.
You can access New Zealand’s page for entry requirements here.
Incoming passengers can pick up free covid antigen self-tests like I did the other week, but visitors are no longer required to report the results on days 0/1 and 5/6.
Test Kits Before Relaxation:
Test kits should still be available at the airport. There were four tests in each kit.
Previous reporting requirements.
Relevant Part of New Zealand Government’s Press Release:
- The COVID-19 Protection Framework ends at 11.59pm tonight, Monday 12 September
- All mask wearing requirements removed, except in healthcare and aged care facilities
- Only COVID-19 positive individuals required to isolate for seven days, household contacts no longer need to
- All Government vaccine mandates to end in two weeks on 26 September
- Removal of all vaccination requirements for incoming travellers and air crew
“You will no longer be required by Government to wear a mask anywhere, except in healthcare settings like hospitals, GPs and aged residential care facilities.
“Some places, such as workplaces, special events, or marae may ask you to wear a mask, but this will be at their discretion and no longer a Government requirement. Please respect those who choose to keep wearing masks as a form of protection.
“All remaining Government vaccine mandates will end in two weeks on 26 September. It will now be an employer’s discretion as to whether they require their workforce to be vaccinated.
“Vaccination requirements for all travellers arriving into New Zealand including air crew also ends, and the requirement to test on day 0/1 and 5/6 will now just be encouraged.
“Our 7 day isolation period for COVID cases will remain.
“However, the 7 day isolation period will now only be required for those who test positive for COVID-19. Their household contacts will only be asked to undertake a daily RAT test before going about their life as normal.
“In short, we now move on to a simple two requirements system of masks in healthcare settings and 7 days isolation for positive cases only,” Jacinda Ardern said.
I was in Auckland for six nights arriving the other Sunday, when you were still required to be vaccinated, wear a mask, and do these self-tests.
I am glad that New Zealand has now been able to remove the last burden for international visitor arrivals of being vaccinated, but it makes sense to be vaxxed and boosted (I certainly will).
The mask-wearing on public transportation and at the airport was close to 100%, and I am glad they are now optional.