• A sublime day on the Milford Track.
    A sublime day on the Milford Track.
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People will need to be fully vaccinated against Covid-19 to be able to stay in NZ’s Department of Conservation huts and campsites from 15 December.

The department announced the decision last week, saying that visitors would need to confirm all of their party were fully vaccinated when booking.

Hut wardens and camp hosts would be checking for vaccination status and there would be spot checks at more remote huts and smaller campsites that were not bookable.

People who were not fully vaccinated could still use tracks and most DOC toilets but could not use DOC hut facilities or campsites.

The department would contact people ahead of their bookings advising them that they need to be fully vaccinated or their booking would need to be cancelled.

DOC heritage and visitors director Steve Taylor said their visitor survey data and visitor feedback showed strong desire for confidence that others sharing DOC accommodation were also vaccinated.

"DOC's accommodation is often remote, off the grid and brings people together from all locations. Vaccination provides a higher level of protection and significantly reduces the risk of infection spreading and people suffering serious illness," Taylor said.

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