Air New Zealand will join Qantas, Jetstar and a host of other airlines globally in requiring customers travelling anywhere on its international network to be fully vaccinated from 1 February 2022.
Air New Zealand’s vaccination requirement will apply to all passengers aged 18 and older arriving or departing Aotearoa on an Air New Zealand aircraft.
Customers who are not vaccinated will be required to present proof that vaccination was not a viable option for them for medical reasons.
“We’re getting ready to reconnect with the world and letting customers know what they need to do to be ready to take off when we can,” says Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran.
“Being vaccinated against COVID-19 is the new reality of international travel – many of the destinations Kiwis want to visit are already closed to unvaccinated visitors. The quicker we get vaccinated, the sooner we can fly Kiwis to places like New York, Vancouver and Narita.
“We’ve been hearing from both customers and employees that this measure is important to them. It came through loud and clear in our recent consultation process with employees and we want to do everything we can to protect them. Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do.”
“It’s not just customers who will be required to be vaccinated – it’s everyone on board an Air New Zealand aircraft travelling internationally, adding to the health and safety measures we already have in place. Another tool in our toolbox.
“As with anything, there will be some that disagree. However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community. We’ll spend the next few months making sure we get this right, ensuring it works as smoothly as possible for our customers. This also gives anyone wanting to travel from next year plenty of time to get their vaccination.
Air New Zealand said they will continue to work on rolling out the International Air Transport Associations (IATA) Travel Pass app to make the process of travelling smoother.
The IATA Travel Pass app is based on decentralised technology which means there is no central database holding passenger information.
Passengers have complete discretion as to whether they share their data or not and they can delete their data at any time on the app, without fear of this being stored.
Last week, Emirates became the first airline to implement the International IATA Travel Pass solution on six continents as it rolls out the digital health pass to customers at all its destinations.
The New Zealand government announced yesterday that all non-New Zealand citizens arriving into the country from November 1 must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.
“Getting vaccinated is the most effective measure against the transmission of COVID-19, and the risk of serious illness or death,” COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said.
“To further reduce the possibility of the virus getting through our border, we are introducing the requirement for air travellers aged 17 and over, who are not New Zealand citizens, to be fully vaccinated to enter New Zealand.
“This is an important step in our Reconnecting New Zealand strategy.”
Travellers will be required to declare their vaccination status, as well as presenting proof of vaccination or a relevant exemption to their airline and to Customs officers once they land, and will still be required to complete 14 days in Managed Isolation and Quarantine.
Travellers except those from exempt locations will still need to have evidence of a negative test result within 72 hours of their first scheduled international flight.
The requirement will not apply to New Zealand citizens, children under 17, and those who are unable to be vaccinated for medical reasons.
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