Wellington : Air New Zealand will ask all passengers from mid-December to provide either full vaccination or a negative COVID test before checking in to their domestic flights, according to the company’s latest statement on Tuesday.
Air New Zealand Chief Executive Greg Foran said the change is about reducing the spread of COVID-19, ahead of what is expected to be a busy summer as New Zealanders reconnect with friends when lockdown restrictions are supposed to be loosened before Christmas.
“Delta has really upped the stakes. What once kept us safe is no longer enough and we need an extra layer of protection. That’s why we’re taking a step further to keep our customers safe, while allowing all Kiwis to fly,” Foran said.
The airline is aiming to have the change in place by Dec. 14, 2021 for an initial period until March 31, 2022. It will apply to all passengers aged 12 or older travelling on an Air New Zealand aircraft within New Zealand. All vaccines and tests approved by the New Zealand government will be accepted.
Passengers are advised to use mobile app of Air New Zealand to connect their vaccination status in the government’s My Vaccine Pass with booking details, which will allow check-in go forward smoothly.
Those not fully vaccinated will need to provide evidence of a negative COVID test taken within 72 hours before departure.
New Zealand’s largest city Auckland will further ease COVID-19 restrictions at 11:59 p.m. Tuesday night despite soaring COVID-19 cases in the community.
Nationwide, 78 percent eligible people are fully vaccinated, according to the Ministry of Health, as 90 percent is a goal for Kiwis to get back to a new normal life.