Drop pre-departure testing right now

New Zealand should follow the United States’ lead and drop all pre-departure testing requirements for incoming passengers, National’s COVID-19 Response spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“Australia did away with pre-departure testing weeks ago, and now the United States is following suit. The world is moving on, but New Zealand insists that anyone coming here must present a negative test before getting on a plane.

“Chris Hipkins admits the value of the pre-departure testing is now low and a month ago said that its ‘days were numbered'.

“If the Government already thinks it has little value and plans to do away with it, why are we waiting until 31 July?

“Pre-departure tests made sense when we were pursuing elimination. But they make zero sense when we already have thousands of cases a day at home.

"New Zealand businesses and tourism operators are crying out for support, and this is a simple, logical way to remove a barrier to coming here that is past its use by date.

“Kiwis can freely jump on a plane to Sydney but have to get a negative test before coming home, which is often costly, causes disruption to travel plans and makes short trips abroad significantly more complicated than they should be.

“A simple cost-benefit analysis would compel the government to do away with the tests right now.

“National has called for pre-departure testing to be abolished for weeks, and its time the Government came to the party.”