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A bold economic response from the Government is now critical to limit the financial fallout from the coronavirus, Leader of the Opposition Simon Bridges and National’s Finance spokesperson Paul Goldsmith say.

“These restrictions, particularly the decision to include Australia, are the most consequential decisions a New Zealand Government has made in recent memory,” Mr Bridges says.

“It will largely shut down the tourism industry and have far-reaching ramifications.  

“We want to support the Government, but we do need to see the analysis and advice these actions were based on, urgently.

“We also need to see how self-isolation will work in practice, and how the many thousands of returning Kiwis will be supported throughout this process.”

Mr Goldsmith said it was important for New Zealanders to see the full consequences of the travel restrictions had been thought through, particularly the impact on air freight and trade. 

“The economic impact of this travel clampdown could well be unprecedented. We need to see what is planned by way of economic stimulus to accompany this move.

“Tuesday’s economic package needs to combine targeted assistance to stave off massive job losses in the tourism industry, as well as broader stimulus."  

Mr Bridges reiterated National’s call for the Government to widen its coronavirus testing criteria so anyone displaying clear symptoms can be tested.

“Tests are only allowed for people with symptoms who can prove a link to a case, despite clear evidence that those who are not displaying symptoms are able to transmit the virus.

“This is too restrictive and too many concerned Kiwis with coronavirus symptoms are being denied tests simply because they cannot prove a link to a case.”

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