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New vaccine and testing requirements have been introduced for passengers on Interislander ferries in New Zealand.
From 15 December, all passengers aged 12 years and older travelling on KiwiRail’s Interislander must show proof of either double-vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that was performed within the previous 72 hours.
Interislander General Manager Walter Rushbrook said KiwiRail’s inter-island ferries are a key passenger and freight connection between the North and South Islands, and the regimen was needed to help minimise the risk of the virus spreading between the islands, and to keep passengers and staff safe.
“We’ve adopted the same policy used by Air New Zealand for their domestic flights so passengers can have a consistent travel experience, regardless of whether they travel by sea or air,” he said.
“Our ferry passengers already have to show their booking number and ID at check in at Wellington and Picton, so we hope to minimise any delays by asking for COVID-related travel information at the same time.
“Our staff will be on hand at the terminals to scan passengers’ MyVaccinePass information either off their phones or from a printed pass. We’ll confirm negative test results either by viewing a text message from a COVID test provider or letter from a medical practitioner.”
Work is currently underway to upgrade Interislander’s booking system, to integrate vaccine and test status.
If not already vaccinated, Interislander staff are required to have their first dose by 11 December and second by 17 January. Staff who are not double-vaccinated by 15 December will need to undertake a test every 72 hours. This aligns with requirements on passengers. These staff will also wear appropriate protective equipment.
This article first appeared on www.railexpress.com.au
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