National leader Judith Collins is continuing her campaign of Covid-19 pressure on the Government – today calling for a blanket extension of all pre-departure testing rules.
Under current rules, announced earlier this month, travellers from the UK and the US are required to show a negative Covid-19 test before departing for New Zealand.
Those rules come into force on Friday.
But the minister responsible for Covid-19, Chris Hipkins, said at the time that work was underway to adapt these measures across all income travellers.
He added that the Government would be in a position to provide more details on this within the next week – that was on January 3 and no such details have yet been provided.
But Collins does not appear keen to wait and see what the Government is planning.
“The threat to New Zealand from the highly infectious strains of Covid-19 which are ravaging the UK and South Africa must be taken seriously,” she said this morning.
Given the increased risk of the new strain – which has already been detected in New Zealand’s managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) facilities – Collins said it’s time for action now.
“If New Zealand doesn’t act fast then we will be looking at a complete border closure with the UK or another economy-crippling lockdown here.
“Pre-departure testing is a crucial extra layer of defence against Covid-19 but the Government’s piecemeal approach of only applying it two countries doesn’t make sense.”
Covid-19, she said, isn’t slowing its march.
“If we want to enjoy the rest of our Kiwi summer then the Government must make pre-departure tests a requirement for all travellers immediately.”
The Government has been approached for comment.
Yesterday, Collins was urging the Government to accelerate its rollout of the Covid-19 vaccination, given the increased risk of the new variant which is devastating the UK and South Africa.
National wants front-line workers, such as those working in managed isolation and quarantine facilities (MIQ), to get the vaccine as soon as possible.
“New Zealand has fallen behind the rest of the world with its vaccine programme and the Government needs to explain why.”
Source: Read Full Article