New Zealand should follow the US lead and drop all pre-departure testing requirements for inbound passengers, National COVID-19 Response spokesman Chris Bishop said.
“Australia scrapped pre-departure testing weeks ago, and now the US is following suit. The world is moving on, but New Zealand insists anyone coming here must present a negative test before boarding a plane.
“Chris Hipkins admits the value of pre-departure testing is now low and a month ago said his ‘days are numbered’.
“If the government already thinks it has little value and is planning to get rid of it, why are we waiting until July 31?
“Testing before the start made sense when we were looking for elimination. But they don’t make sense when we already have thousands of cases a day at home.
“New Zealand tourism businesses and operators are crying out for help, and this is a simple and logical way to remove a barrier to coming here that has passed its use-by date.
“Kiwis can freely hop on a plane to Sydney but must test negative before returning home, which is often costly, disrupts travel plans and makes short trips abroad much more complicated than they might should be.
“A simple cost-benefit analysis would force the government to scrap testing now.
“The National has been calling for the abolition of pre-departure testing for weeks, and it’s time for the government to come to the party.”
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