South Island should drop now to alert level 2

The Government needs to explain exactly why the South Island should not immediately drop to alert level 2, says Leader of the Opposition Judith Collins.

“There hasn’t been a positive case of Covid in the South Island for almost a year. None have been reported from the latest Delta outbreak and, as of yesterday afternoon, just 22 contacts were awaiting or overdue their day 12 test, out of more than 37,000 total contacts in this outbreak.

“It doesn’t make sense, then, that the South Island, despite being Covid-free, should be subject to level 3 restrictions – effectively the same as level 4, but with takeaways.

“In the meantime, South Island people and businesses are being put under unnecessary stress for no good reason.

“If Wellington, which has had a number of positive cases during the current outbreak, can be at level 3, it seems a major overreaction to have the same alert level in the south, where there have been none.

“The epicentre of this outbreak in in Auckland. That’s why Auckland is at alert level 4. If the Government is able to quarantine Auckland from the rest of the country to control the spread of Delta, it seems reasonable it can police entry points into the South Island which is, after all, separated from the North Island by a fairly large body of water.

“Unless the Government is again keeping vital information from New Zealanders, there’s no reason why the South Island’s alert level shouldn’t be dropped to level 2 with immediate effect.”