New Zealand’s COVID-19 minister, Ayesha Verrall, said in a statement that a public health risk assessment had concluded that visitors from China would not contribute significantly to the number of cases in the country.
“The public health risk to New Zealand is minimal,” she said.
Many countries, including the UK, US and Australia, are requiring travelers from China to make negative COVID-19 tests over concerns about the scale of the country’s outbreak and skepticism about Beijing’s health data. . Chinese state media have criticized the move as discriminatory.
Infections in China surged after the country lifted its strict zero-case policy on December 7, allowing the virus to spread.
All foreigners entering New Zealand are being asked to be tested for symptoms, and the country offers free testing at airports.
Authorities plan to ask travelers from China to undergo voluntary testing to gather more information, Veral said, alongside World Health Organization concerns about China’s lack of information sharing. said it reflected New Zealand’s concerns.
New Zealand also plans to test wastewater on international flights to see if this can replace targeted and voluntary testing of individuals.
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