Relief for the horticulture and viticulture sectors with the first stage of one-way quarantine-free travel with Samoa, Tonga and Vanuatu getting underway in October. Initially just RSE workers from those countries will be allowed in. COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says they want to provide certainty to the horticulture industry with safe quarantine-free travel for RSE workers in time for the upcoming picking season. Chris Hipkins says RSE workers will have to have received their first vaccination pre-departure, undertake Day 0 and Day 5 tests, and complete a self-isolation period of seven days, pending a negative Day 5 result. Ag. Minister Damien O’Connor says RSE workers have been targeted because they come to New Zealand in a cohort, stay in employer-arranged accommodation which helps mitigate any external risk from COVID-19. Up to 14,400 RSE workers normally come through New Zealand each year, with approximately 10,500 being in the country at peak harvesting times pre-COVID.