Additional COVID-19 test now required for Returnees from higher-risk Countries

Additional COVID-19 test now required for Returnees from higher-risk Countries

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The New Zealand Government has announced a new additional COVID-19 test that is now required for returnees that come from higher-risk countries.

The additional test for COVID-19 means people coming from the United Kingdom that arrive in New Zealand will have to undergo the additional PCR testings.

Minister for COVID-19 Response Chris Hipkins followed in a statement to thisquality: “The extra PCR test will be applied on ‘day zero’, as returnees who’ve been in the United Kingdom or the United States during the preceding 14 days go through New Zealand airport controls, or on ‘day one’, after they arrive at a managed isolation and quarantine facility.”

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The new testing will be in addition to the current day three and day twelve routine testing. Returnees will require isolation or quarantine in their allocated room at the given facility until their first initial test returns.

If the result returns as positive, it means the returnee(s) will have to be transferred to a quarantine facility ‘effectively’ days earlier than under the current system, the two-test management.

The changes will go into effect from midnight on 31 December.

“We’ve been monitoring overseas developments very closely, and, like many other countries, New Zealand has heightened concerns about the new variants of the virus and their potential to spread more rapidly, and the ongoing high rates of infection in some countries,” Chris Hipkins said.

“We’re seeing asymptomatic people coming across the border who are subsequently picked up in day three testing, so this will pick them up as early as possible. It will also help us identify earlier anyone who sat close to them on flights.”

As travel restrictions are imposed worldwide, the Government is trying to prevent the risk of other countries shutting their borders to New Zealand by taking the extra precautionary step in providing another layer of protection and support the #MakeSummerUnstoppable Campaign.

New Zealand provides one of the most robust border defences in the world.

Image: SUPPLIED/Shutterstock.com

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