Govt looking at vaccine requirement for inter-regional travel

Source: 1News

Government is looking into whether there should be a vaccine requirement for inter-regional travel, after two cases of Covid-19 were detected in Christchurch. 

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said they had been reviewing whether vaccine requirements should be needed for travelling between Alert Levels. 

"One of the things we're looking at and have been looking at is whether there should be requirements for inter-regional travel for vaccinations; particularly on flights." 

He added that one of the logistical issues was to still allow essential travel, whether or not a person is fully vaccinated. 

"One of the things you do need to allow for is that there will be come essential travel required and you wouldn't necessarily want to cut people off from that essential travel if they haven't been vaccinated." 

National spokesperson Chris Bishop said "vaccinated travellers should have the ability to cross alert level boundaries and we would also couple that with ubiquitous rapid anti-gen testing".

"If we deployed it properly at the Auckland border, we could have potentially avoided the Christchurch situation and with other cases." 

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins.

Bishop said fully vaccinated New Zealanders should be able to cross between alert level boundaries as they hold a lower risk of spreading Covid-19. 

A man and woman, both from Bishopdale and are unvaccinated, returned a positive result for the virus on Wednesday night. 

Supermarkets and a petrol station are among the  nine locations of interest  identified by the Ministry of Health as having been visited by the pair in the past week. 

Earlier this month, national airline Air New Zealand banned unvaccinated travellers from all international flights. 

CEO Greg Foran also told 1News they're also considering if and how that ban could be extended to all of its domestic flights around the country. 

Air New Zealand's new rules will come into full force from February 2022.