Government considering compulsory vaccinations for tourists arriving in New Zealand

As New Zealand navigates through the current COVID outbreak the Government is considering stopping tourists from arriving who are not vaccinated.

It comes as the Prime Minister says a 'no jab, no entry' policy for any crowded space may soon become the norm.

On the eve of daylight saving Kiwis always look forward to longer sunnier days and it's got Government ministers thinking even further ahead.

Tourism Minister Stuart Nash telling Newshub Nation the Government is leaning towards international tourists needing to be vaccinated on arrival.

"We're still working on that, but I would suspect so yes. There is no hard and fast rule at this time but it's what I'd like to see anyway," he said.

Professor Michael Baker says the Government's hand may be forced, by airlines only accepting vaccinated passengers.

"We may not have any choice because I think this is going to become universal."

The tourism industry is also planning accordingly.

"If you're looking to book a hotel, do a tourism activity, book a coach it's very likely you will be required to prove you have been vaccinated," says Tourism Industry Aotearoa CEO Chris Roberts.

The Government is also thinking about whether tourism operators and their patrons must be fully protected.

Many in the industry are already one step ahead.

"A lot of businesses will make that decision themselves, so we are seeing businesses already putting into their terms and conditions that their guests must be vaccinated," Roberts says.

Denmark is one of the few countries where COVID-19 restrictions are being dropped. Recently it hosted a concert with 50,000 people - no masks, no social distancing and no vaccination requirement.

To get to that point, the Danes used a 'no jab no entry' policy for large events until the vaccination rate was high enough - more than four in five of people over 12.

The Prime Minister has told the Weekend Herald she's considering a similar policy.

But National Party leader Judith Collins says she's not sure a Government mandate is the answer.

"Every business should have the right to decide who goes into those businesses. So if you're an organiser of a big event you might want to that as part of your health and safety plan."

But first the Government needs to work on getting this outbreak under control.