New Zealand NZ to require pre-flight COVID tests for Australian travellers

NZ to require pre-flight COVID tests for Australian travellers

new zealand negative test
New Zealand is further tightening travel rules for people heading across the Tasman from Australia. Photo: Getty
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New Zealand will now require Australian travellers to produce a negative test for COVID-19 if they have recently been to Victoria.

COVID-19 Minister Chris Hipkins announced the new measure on Friday for anyone who has been in Victoria between May 20 and 25.

“While we don’t see these travellers who have left Victoria prior to 25 May as a major risk to New Zealand, we want to ensure the risk is reduced as much as possible,” Mr Hipkins said.

“A negative pre-departure test can give us a higher degree of confidence that a person will not be infectious upon arrival in New Zealand.”

The travellers will need to take the test and return a negative result within three days of catching their trans-Tasman flight.

They include Prime Minister Scott Morrison, who is due to travel to NZ on Sunday for talks with his Kiwi counterpart, Jacinda Ardern. Mr Morrison’s visit had been in jeopardy, because he visited Melbourne on May 20.

Mr Hipkins has told New Zealand media that Mr Morrison and his crew have already returned negative tests.

“His travel plans would not be affected,” he said.

On Tuesday, NZ suspended quarantine-free travel from Victoria in response to the growing number of community cases. The outbreak that has thrown Victoria into a seven-day lockdown grew to 30 infections on Friday.

Roughly 5000 travellers from Victoria made it to New Zealand in the five days before the border closure.

Those people have been ordered to isolate and produce a negative test before they can return to the community.

New Zealand’s border closure is in place until at least next Friday, June 4.

Australians from other states and territories who have not been at locations of interest remain free to travel to New Zealand.

-with AAP