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Air New Zealand to require international travellers to be fully vaccinated

Air New Zealand has announced that it will require all international travellers to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 starting February 2022.

Starting 1st February 2022, the Auckland-based airline will require all passengers travelling anywhere on its international network to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

All passengers aged 18 and older arriving or departing Aotearoa on an Air New Zealand aircraft will be required to be fully vaccinated. Passengers who are not vaccinated will have to present proof that vaccination was not a viable option for them for medical reasons.

Greg Foran, Chief Executive Officer, Air New Zealand, said:

We’re getting ready to reconnect with the world and letting customers know what they need to do to be ready to take off when we can. 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. The quicker we get vaccinated, the sooner we can fly Kiwis to places like New York, Vancouver and Narita. We’ve been hearing from both customers and employees that this measure is important to them. It came through loud and clear in our recent consultation process with employees and we want to do everything we can to protect them. Mandating vaccination on our international flights will give both customers and employees the peace of mind that everyone onboard meets the same health requirements as they do.

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The carrier states that these requirements will sit alongside the measures it already has to keep New Zealand safe.

Greg Foran added:

It’s not just customers who will be required to be vaccinated – it’s everyone on board an Air New Zealand aircraft travelling internationally, adding to the health and safety measures we already have in place. Another tool in our toolbox. As with anything, there will be some that disagree. However, we know this is the right thing to do to protect our people, our customers and the wider New Zealand community. We’ll spend the next few months making sure we get this right, ensuring it works as smoothly as possible for our customers. This also gives anyone wanting to travel from next year plenty of time to get their vaccination. To take some of the friction out of the travel experience and to help our customers know exactly what they need to travel before even getting to the airport, we’re continuing to work on rolling out the International Air Transport Associations (IATA) Travel Pass app.

Air New Zealand is continuing to work closely with the Government and Airport groups on the Reconnecting New Zealanders plan.

Using Timatic, the IATA Travel Pass will check passengers’ health information against flight details to ensure they are meeting entry requirements for that destination, and the airline.

The app is based on decentralized technology which means there is no central database holding passenger information. Passengers have complete discretion as to whether they share their data or not and they can delete their data at any time on the app, without fear of this being stored.

Featured image by Air New Zealand

What do you think of Air New Zealand’s requirement for all international travellers to be vaccinated against COVID-19? Let me know in the comments section below.

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