Wellington Scoop

Interislander passengers must show Vaccine Pass

News from KiwiRail
New vaccine and testing requirements for passengers on Interislander ferries will give the travelling public confidence over the summer holidays, Interislander General Manager Walter Rushbrook says.

From 15 December, all passengers aged 12 and older travelling on KiwiRail’s Interislander will be required to show proof of either double-vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test that was performed within the previous 72 hours.

“KiwiRail’s inter-island ferries are a key passenger and freight connection between the North and South Islands, and we’re expecting this will be a very busy summer, with people travelling around the country to enjoy holidays and spend time with friends and family,” Mr Rushbrook says.

“To help minimise the risk of Covid spreading between the islands, and to keep our passengers and staff safe, we are requiring either proof of double vaccination or a recent negative Covid test before boarding.

“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.”

Mr Rushbrook said passengers will need to provide proof of their vaccination status or proof of a negative Covid test when checking in.

“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 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.

“We’ll be doing everything we can to make this process as quick and seamless as possible, including setting up charging stations at our terminals in case passengers’ phone batteries are running low.”

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 Covid test every 72 hours. This aligns with requirements on passengers. These staff will also wear appropriate protective equipment.

Interislander has also updated its refund policy. Anyone who wishes to cancel bookings because of our new Covid policy will receive a full refund, and there is no charge for people needing to move travel dates due to a Covid test.


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