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Will a mandatory (+ costly) pre-departure COVID test keep you from your NZ holiday?

All Australians (including those who have been fully vaccinated against COVID-19) will require a negative COVID-19 test before entering New Zealand. But here’s the kicker. You can’t just mosey on down to one of the free testing sites we’ve come to know all too well. 


“You should approach a GP or private testing clinic — not a free community testing station,” an NZ government website reads. 


“Make sure you check your chosen testing provider will provide you with acceptable pre-departure documentation to the standard required by the New Zealand Government.” 


You need to have both your COVID-19 sample taken and your result returned no more than 72 hours before the scheduled departure time of your first international departure.”


According to the government website, tests should cost about AU$110-170 each. But Chris Roberts, chief executive of New Zealand’s Tourism Industry Aotearoa (TIA), says they could cost over AU$200. 


That cost, when coupled with what has already proven to be high ticket prices, could curb the numbers of Australians heading across the ditch.


“Travel is increasingly complicated and expensive, and for many people who would like to come here, it may just be getting too hard,” Roberts told NCA NewsWire.


“Hopefully, the community cases in Australia can successfully be brought under control and this requirement can be lifted.”


“Pre-departure testing … should be used when it is required, but we hope it does not become a permanent feature.”


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Published: 7 July 2021

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