New protocols at Auckland airport – Niue passengers must pass RAT otherwise pay for PCR test

As expected with the increasing number of Omicron cases in New Zealand overwhelming the testing laboratories, many of the passengers bound for Niue were not able to receive their pre-departure Covid tests results before the flight.

This was the case earlier this week as passengers turned up to the Auckland airport to board the flight to Niue even though the results of their PCR tests taken 72 hours prior were still not available.

The passengers were still allowed to board the flight after they completed and returned a negative Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) but two passengers were turned away because one of them failed the test.

One of those two passengers Brad Ikinepule said that he is disappointed that they were not able to get on the flight, but he is satisfied that the procedures are in place to keep Niue safe from Covid 19. 

On Tuesday this week the government in a press release stated “As we advance, all passengers traveling to Niue will be required to take a Rapid Antigen Test (RAT) at Auckland Airport prior to departure.”

The government will still require the mandatory 72 hours pre-departure tests for passengers wanting to fly to Niue but they will have to pay for this PCR test. 

The statement stated that the government is encouraging passengers confirmed to fly to Niue to pay for their tests to ensure results are returned in time. This test will cost each passenger around $250. 

Mr. Ikinepule said that after all the fuss with the RAT at the airport when they finally received their PCR tests, they both returned negative. He is hoping that they will be able to get on the next flight because they have been on the waiting list since January.

Meanwhile, the thirty-one passengers on the last flight have all returned negative results from their day one tests completed on Tuesday and the results of their day three tests done today will be released as soon as they are available.

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