Customs has announced it is updating its passenger arrival card to include health questions about coronavirus, with the changes being implemented early tomorrow morning.
As of 3am on Friday 20 March, arriving travellers won’t need to fill out a separate health questionnaire.
The questions on the card will ask travellers what countries they have visited in the past 14 days, if they have had contact with a person who has Covid-19, and if they have any symptoms.
Dr Sally Roberts, head of Microbiology at Auckland District Health Board, told media today that she believes enough is being done at the borders.
“We’re giving them a form to fill out where all the questions are asked on it. They then get met by a health worker and discuss self-isolation, what it means and then then they go through the questionnaire,” she said.
“If they’re not ok because they’ve got a symptom then we’ll do a further health check with them at that time.”
Travellers are asked if they’ve already been tested for the virus, and have received the result yet and whether it was a negative or positive result.
The card also asks if the person intends to self-isolate and where they will do so.
The new card will be available to travellers after they leave the plane and must be completed before moving into the Customs and Immigration processing areas.
If they have symptoms then they’ll be checked and will be required to declare.
Dr William Rainger director of Auckland Regional Public Health Service said the process at the border has progressively ramped up as the situation has changed.
“I think it’s very important that there is a proportionate response to the reality of the situation and I think it’s been appropriate,” said Dr Rainger.