Travelers must declare their immunization status when registering with the country’s isolation system and provide proof of vaccination or exemption to their airline and customs officials, said COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins in a statement.
“To further reduce the likelihood of the virus passing through our border, we are introducing a requirement for air travelers aged 17 and over, who are not citizens of New Zealand, to enter New Zealand,” he said. to be fully vaccinated,” he said.
Those arriving in New Zealand will still have to spend 14 days in quarantine, and all passengers – except in exempt locations – will still be required to show a negative COVID-19 test result within 72 hours of their first scheduled international flight.
“Most people who come to New Zealand tell us they have already been vaccinated. This requirement formalizes it and will provide an additional layer of security at the border,” Hipkins said.
Any of the 22 COVID-19 vaccines approved by the government or approval authority is acceptable, and the last dose must be given at least 14 days prior to arrival.
According to the press release, those who fail to show proof of vaccination can be fined up to $4,000. Some seasonal workers will be exempt due to current requirements, as will refugees.
New Zealand reported 33 new local COVID-19 cases on Sunday, including 32 in Auckland’s largest city and one in the Waikato region, Director-General of Health Ashley Bloomfield said at a news conference on Sunday.
Ardern said parts of the Waikato region (Reglan, Te Kawata, Huntly, Ngaruawahia and Hamilton City) will be under Level 3 lockdown for the next five days from 11:59 p.m. local time Sunday.
Bloomfield reported another case on Sunday in the Waikato area, which will be included in Monday’s figures.
The two cases are “known associates or contacts” in the Waikato area, Bloomfield said, but health officials have yet to establish a link to the Auckland outbreak.
Auckland is currently under a Level 3 lockdown, and Ardern said 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. He further urged non-vaccinated New Zealanders to book their doses, adding that a higher vaccination rate would mean fewer restrictions.
New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern has won praise for her handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
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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 Ministry of Health.
The rest of New Zealand remains at Alert Level 2, or a low risk of community transmission, meaning most restrictions have been lifted – although limits on the number of gatherings remain.
CNN’s Julia Hollingsworth and Chandler Thornton contributed to this report.