What are the Covid rules in New Zealand?

·2-min read
Female leaders such as New Zealand prime minster Jacinda Ardern were much more successful at containing the coronavirus (Getty) (Getty)
Female leaders such as New Zealand prime minster Jacinda Ardern were much more successful at containing the coronavirus (Getty) (Getty)

The New Zealand government continues to enforce strict border controls for those entering the country, including health screening and testing for almost all arrivals, and managed isolation or quarantine for anyone who is not travelling quarantine-free.

The health ministry has also urged the public to keep good hygiene, stay at home, and get tested if they show symptoms. If they show symptoms or had exposure to a confirmed case, they must self isolate for at least 14 days and until they are no longer required to do so by a public health official, who directly manage cases.

Other social distancing rules remain as well as mask-wearing on public transport, including domestic flights, taxis or ride-share drivers.

New Zealand health ministry's Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) guidelines stipulate that almost all passengers travelling into New Zealand are legally required to have a voucher confirming their place in a managed isolation before they board a flight.

The New Zealand health ministry makes provisions for last-minute travels and emergency requests. Without a voucher, passengers will not be allowed to board a flight.

Within 24 hours of entering New Zealand, passengers will be tested on the first day and asked to remain in their room until they receive their test results.

If the passenger is symptomatic on arrival, or the test result shows positive on day one, they are taken to a quarantine facility. Even if the test results are negative, the passenger must quarantine for the remaining 14 days. Tests continue on days 3 and 12, as usual.

The MIQ also warns that passengers on arrival might be assigned a facility in a different city to the one they arrived in. The government will provide transport to the quarantine facility and back to the airport, where the passenger first arrived. Passengers will bear the expense of their own travel to their final destination after finishing the isolation period.

New Zealand's borders remain closed except for New Zealand citizens and residents with valid travel conditions. There are a small number of limited exceptions to the border closure for visa holders.

Arrivals from high-risk countries will be required to provide evidence of a negative nasopharyngeal RT-PCR (PCR) test from a government-approved laboratory, taken 72 hours before travel. Very high-risk countries include Brazil, India, Pakistan and Papua New Guinea.

The government has extended the pause on quarantine-free travel from Queensland, New South Wales, in Australia due to a rise in Covid-19 infections.

Arrivals by sea will be required to either isolate on the boat for a total of 14 days or transfer to a managed isolation facility.

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