Revised border measures will manage the threat of foot and mouth disease (FMD) from air passengers arriving directly from Bali, says Biosecurity New Zealand.
The first direct flight from Denpasar arrives in Auckland tomorrow (March 30). The resumption of the seasonal service, which runs until 27 October, will bring up to 1,000 passengers a week into Auckland.
Passengers from Bali will use a dedicated biosecurity lane and baggage carousel at Auckland Airport. They will also face footwear disinfection measures, including footbaths at the arrival gate when they step off the plane.
"Biosecurity New Zealand has been working with Air New Zealand to ensure travellers receive information about the revised requirements throughout their journey – including at departure from Denpasar, during the flight and at the baggage collection area on arrival,” says Mike Inglis, Biosecurity New Zealand’s northern regional commissioner.
"Passengers should expect additional questioning from our officers. If need be, they will be directed to undergo full baggage searches.
"The revised measures will minimise potential delays and disruption for air travellers while providing strong biosecurity protection for New Zealand."
Mr Inglis says travellers can reduce processing time by following declaration rules and ensuring footwear and outdoor equipment is cleaned prior to departure.
"We are also encouraging travellers to wear closed-toe footwear for their return journey. Footbaths won’t be available for those wearing sandals or other open-toe footwear. These will require inspection and possible disinfection by officers – adding time to the biosecurity clearance process."
Mr Inglis says the revised measures build on enhanced clearance processes introduced in July last year for travellers arriving on indirect flights from Indonesia, due to an FMD outbreak. The measures included a ban on personal consignments containing meat products.
"Biosecurity New Zealand takes the FMD threat very seriously, given the damage it could inflict on producers and the New Zealand economy.
"We will continue to assess the situation in Indonesia and modify our border checks as required."