Border workers will face new and more frequent tests for COVID-19 to "strengthen" New Zealand's response against the virus.
The additional regulations, announced by COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins on Thursday, apply to all international airports and ports and build on the current mandatory testing orders for border staff.
The new rules include:
- Increasing testing frequency from fortnightly to weekly for ship pilots and some other port workers who carry out work on affected ships
- Increasing testing frequency from fortnightly to weekly for some workers who carry out work on aircraft that have arrived from outside of New Zealand
- Mandatory fortnightly testing for port workers not already covered
- Mandatory fortnightly testing for airport airside and landside workers not already covered who interact with international arriving or transiting passengers.
"These strengthened rules - to apply to all international airports and ports - build on the mandatory testing orders we've been implementing since August," Hipkins said.
"The rules extend testing to workers not previously covered and increase the frequency of testing for some higher-risk workers."
From late August it became mandatory for all border workers to be tested. However, airline crews were exempt and workers at New Zealand's ports were tested fortnightly.
Hipkins said this latest order also clarifies the expectations for both employers and employees who are required to undergo mandatory tests.
"Employers will be expected to keep records about their employees' testing requirements and their compliance, and facilitate employee testing. Employees will be expected to provide information to their employers for record-keeping purposes," he said.
The requirements come into force from midnight on November 26.