Four travellers fined for entering NZ without test
Only four travellers have been fined for coming to the country without a pre-departure Covid-19 test.
Since mid-January, people arriving in New Zealand from most countries have had to prove they had a negative test before their flight - or risk a fine of up to $1000.
Customs figures showed the vast majority of the roughly 15,000 people who arrived had complied.
But it has also issued 33 warnings - most of them shortly after the rule was introduced.
Ten people who arrived on the same flight with Covid-19 this week all had pre-departure test certificates.
The Ministry of Health says the quality of testing varies around the world and it's looking into whether some of those cases were historical.
Fake pre-departure certificates are not "regarded as a significant issue," a spokesperson says.
There's little solid evidence of the benefits of pre-departure testing to keeping numbers low in managed isolation, she says.
"A traveller can return a completely authentic negative test before travelling, but won't catch a diagnosis particularly during the early stages of infection," she says.
A managed isolation and quarantine spokesperson says they knew of 40 people who had cancelled their spot in managed isolation because their pre-departure test had been positive.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says the 10 cases highlighted the shortcomings of pre-departure tests which could be done 72 hours before people left.