Air New Zealand made a statement yesterday that it would require all passengers who travel on its international flights to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19.
Being one of the world’s strictest policies for travellers, Air New Zealand’s Chief Executive Officer Greg Foran stated, “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,”.
For the first time since March 2020, New Zealand plans to open its international borders to anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen, by early next year.
The vaccination policy will be implemented by the 1st of February, according to the airline.
In regards to the new policy, Foran stated that there will be some who disagree while adding, “However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community.”
Last month, Australia’s largest airline Qantas announced that it will require all passengers on international flights to be vaccinated, making it one of the first airlines to require proof of vaccination for everyone on board.
This comes as New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced a cautious plan to ease lockdown restrictions in Auckland.
Ardern stated that long periods of heavy restrictions have not gotten the nation to zero cases while adding, “But that is OK. Elimination was important because we didn’t have vaccines. Now we do, so we can begin to change the way we do things.”
IMAGE – Wikimedia Commons/Army Spc. Angel Laureano holds a vial of the COVID-19 vaccine, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., Dec. 14, 2020. (DoD photo by Lisa Ferdinando)