Australia opens up as NZ remains a fortress

New Zealand should be following Australia’s lead and opening up to the rest of the world by scrapping MIQ for fully vaccinated travellers, says National’s Covid Spokesperson Chris Bishop.

Travellers who are fully vaccinated no longer have to go into quarantine when arriving in New South Wales or Victoria.

“Australia is opening to the rest of the world while New Zealand retains its ‘Fortress New Zealand’ barriers that sees fully vaccinated Kiwis without any Covid spending seven days in MIQ and three days in self isolation before being allowed into the community.

“We now have the absurd situation of nearly 2000 people with Covid isolating at home while fully vaccinated travellers without any Covid are going into MIQ.

“As public health experts have recognised, it makes much more sense for people with Covid to be taking up quarantine rooms rather than people who don’t have any Covid and who are fully vaccinated.”

“National urges the Government to end the lottery of human misery that is MIQ right now. The current timeline of ‘quarter one 2022’ is way too late and will see New Zealand remain a hermit kingdom, shut off from the rest of the world, for far longer than is necessary.

“Tens of thousands of Kiwis are stuck offshore, forced to endure the MIQ lottery just to come home to their own country. It doesn’t have to be this way and the Government must act.

“Nearly 90,000 people have signed National’s petition to end MIQ now. The Prime Minister needs to realise that she can’t keep New Zealand locked away from the rest of the world forever. The time to open up has come and she needs to get on with it and follow Australia’s lead.”