Travelers will need to declare their vaccination status when checking in with the country’s isolation system and provide proof of vaccination or exemption to their airline and customs officials upon landing, the response minister said. to Covid-19, Chris Hipkins, in a statement.
“To further reduce the possibility of the virus crossing our border, we are introducing the requirement for air travelers aged 17 and over, who are not New Zealand citizens, to be fully vaccinated to enter New Zealand.” , did he declare.
The announcement came as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern placed a new region outside Auckland under a five-day lockdown, as the country’s Covid-19 Delta variant epidemic spreads.
Those arriving in New Zealand will still be required to spend 14 days in quarantine, and all travelers – except those from exempt locations – will still be required to present a negative Covid-19 test result within 72 hours of their first international flight planned.
“Most people who come to New Zealand tell us that they are already vaccinated. This requirement makes it formal and will provide an additional layer of protection at the border, ”Hipkins said.
Any of the 22 Covid-19 vaccines approved by a government or approval authority is acceptable, and the last dose must have been administered at least 14 days before arrival.
Those subject to the requirements who do not present proof of vaccination could face a fine of up to $ 4,000, according to the press release. Some seasonal workers will be exempted due to existing requirements, as will refugees.
New Zealand reported 33 new local cases of Covid-19 on Sunday, including 32 in the largest city of Auckland and one in the Waikato region, Chief Health Officer Ashley Bloomfield told a conference on Sunday. Press.
Ardern said parts of the Waikato area (Reglan, Te Kauwhata, Huntly, Ngāruawāhia and Hamilton City) will be under Level 3 lockdown from 11:59 p.m. local time on Sunday for the next five days.
Under Level 3 restrictions, working and learning from home is strongly encouraged where possible, public facilities must close and events cannot take place, and travel is restricted, according to the official government website Covid -19.
Bloomfield also reported another case in the Waikato area on Sunday, which will be included in Monday’s figures.
The two cases in the Waikato area are “known associates or contacts,” Bloomfield said, but health officials have yet to establish a link to the Auckland outbreak.
Auckland is currently under Level 3 lockdown, and Ardern added that officials will meet on Monday to discuss plans to lift lockdown restrictions in the city.
“We are doing everything we can to keep the cases confined to Auckland and manage them there,” Arden said. She further urged unvaccinated New Zealanders to reserve their doses, saying higher vaccination rates would mean fewer restrictions.
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Sunday’s new local cases bring the total number of community cases from the current outbreak to 1,328, according to New Zealand’s health ministry.
The country initially entered a strict three-day lockdown in mid-August after a locally transmitted coronavirus case was detected for the first time since February.
The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 2, or low risk for community transmission, meaning most restrictions have been lifted – although limits on the number of gatherings remain in place.
CNN’s Julia Hollingsworth and Chandler Thornton contributed to this report.