Today, the New Zealand government announced it is dropping its pre-departure testing requirements. They will no longer be needed for visitors coming into the country from 11:59pm on Monday June 20. This applies to people entering New Zealand from anywhere in the world.

The change comes earlier than expected. “We had intended to remove the requirement for travellers to have a pre-departure test by 31 July,” Covid-19 response minister Dr Ayesha Verrall said in a statement. “But with cases continuing to decline, despite over 387,000 arrivals since borders reopened, there is evidence this measure can now be lifted.”

With no need to take a test before jumping on your flight, this is set to make travelling to New Zealand much easier for people.

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“I’m advised the challenges pre-departure tests pose to visitors are now no longer outweighed by the public health benefits,” continued the statement.

The government has been announcing a staged reopening of the border since February, and while it welcomed Australian travellers on April 12, the lack of availability and cost of getting a test have increasingly been “a barrier” for people wanting to come to New Zealand, says Dr Verrall.

Travellers will still be required to self-test on the day they arrive or the next day, and again on day five or six. If the result of either test is positive, they must then get a PCR test.

Anyone who is not a New Zealand citizen or resident, and who is aged 17 years or over, must still be vaccinated with approved vaccines to enter New Zealand – and will still need to provide proof of vaccination status. (Unless a valid vaccination exemption applies.)