6 Sep 2020

Tougher rules for testing of border workers on the way

2:10 pm on 6 September 2020

The government is introducing a new order that will require all border workers to undergo mandatory testing for Covid-19.

Port of Tauranga

The Port of Tauranga. Photo: Supplied / Port of Tauranga

The order will come into effect at midnight tonight.

The changes within the order cover entry via the air and maritime borders and the operation of managed isolation and quarantine facilities.

The Ministry of Health said the new maritime border changes strengthen the requirements for testing, isolation and quarantine of arriving crews and introduce infringement offences under the Covid-19 Act.

There are smaller changes covering the air border.

It emerged last month that 60 percent of staff working at the country's borders had never been tested for Covid-19.

Otago University Professor Sir David Skegg was among health experts who criticised the revelation, saying weekly testing for frontline staff working at the border should have been compulsory as stringent border protection is vital for New Zealand's elimination strategy.

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