Border rules need common sense

Reports of people who believed they could go into work but instead have been sent home demonstrates why a more rational and pragmatic approach is needed for alert level border rules, National’s Social Development and Employment spokesperson Louise Upston says.

“It doesn’t make sense that a business is permitted to operate but the staff required for the business to run cannot cross the border.

“Common sense has been thrown out the window with different rules for different lockdowns.

“New Zealanders have made great sacrifices to ward off the threat of the Delta variant of Covid-19. However people cannot live off the wage subsidy forever. They want to get back to work to support themselves and their families.

“Some Auckland businesses rely on staff from neighbouring towns who would normally cross the border to travel to work each day.

“The Government needs to clearly communicate what the rules are and why changes have been made from previous lockdowns.

“Better still, the Government should take a more proportionate risk assessment and allow staff working for businesses in Auckland permission to cross the border.

“Extra safety measures are already in place due to Delta. In addition to providing business travel documentation, those who do need to cross the border also have to provide evidence of a test within the past seven days.

“If the Government doesn’t apply a pragmatic approach to allowing businesses to operate more Kiwis will lose their jobs. More than 8000 New Zealanders have lost their job since the Delta outbreak.

“The constant yo-yoing in and out of lockdown, and the associated border restrictions, is making it harder for many to make ends meet.

“A more nuanced and mature approach is needed. There is no point in the rules allowing a business to open if its staff cannot get to work.

“The Government’s inability to approach the rules in a pragmatic way is putting business and the livelihoods of New Zealanders at risk.”