Have your say: Should travellers have to show a negative COVID-19 test prior to their flight?

  • 22/08/2020

The National Party this week revealed its border security policy.

Among an array of measures to "inject some steel" into the country's border arrangements was the proposal that anyone wanting to travel to Aotearoa must "provide evidence of a negative COVID-19 test before arriving in New Zealand". They would then be required to have a test on days three and 12 in New Zealand, as is currently the case. 

"I'm making it very plain, they need to get a test," leader Judith Collins said. "We're dealing with a situation where we are looking at an economic crisis... they can come home but they need to get a test - and that's important... they're going to have to find a way to get a test." 

However, requiring Kiwis to test negative before boarding the plane has been called "fraught" by the Health Minister.

"One of the things that makes that fraught is that we've seen instances of people being infected in transit, so if you take someone leaving London, for example, they may go through several airports and it may take them a process of two or three days to get home, in which case they can become infected during that time," he said.  

It's also been suggested getting tested in other countries can be difficult, often due to a lack of access to tests or their cost.

But National's Health spokesperson Dr Shane Reti said on Saturday that the party "checked where most of our arrivals come from, those points of departure, whether it's legitimate to be able to do that within 72 hours, and we think it can be done". 

Some other countries also require pre-departure tests.

Should travellers have to show a negative COVID-19 test prior to their flight to NZ?

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