Travellers arriving from Bali will have their own dedicated biosecurity lane and baggage carousel.
With Air New Zealand resuming direct flights to Bali for the first time in three years, special measures are being introduced at Auckland Airport to combat any potential threat of foot-and-mouth disease (FMD).
The first flight from the Indonesian hotspot arrives on Thursday and more than 1000 passengers are expected to land every week during the seasonal service.
Travellers arriving from the holiday island will have their own dedicated biosecurity lane and baggage carousel, as well as footwear disinfection measures, including footbaths at the arrival gate when they step off the plane.
New Zealand has never had FMD, which causes lesions and lameness in cloven hoofed animals. However, last year viral fragments of the disease were detected in meat imports to Australia from Indonesia. It resulted in a ban on travellers bringing in any meat products from Indonesia to New Zealand.
Mike Inglis, Biosecurity New Zealand’s Northern Regional Commissioner, warned that arriving passengers may be asked for additional information from officers.
“The revised measures will minimise potential delays and disruption for air travellers while providing strong biosecurity protection for New Zealand,” said Inglis.
He also advised passengers to wear closed-toe footwear for their return journey.
“Footbaths won’t be available for those wearing sandals or other open-toe footwear,” said Inglis. “These will require inspection and possible disinfection by officers – adding time to the biosecurity clearance process.”
An outbreak of FMD in the United Kingdom in 2001 saw 10 million animals culled and cost an estimated £10 billion (NZ$19.7b).