Time to end the lottery of human misery

It’s time to end the lottery of human misery that is MIQ, says National’s Covid Response spokesperson Chris Bishop, ahead of the Government’s announcement of long-awaited changes to the failed system.

“More than 100 people with Covid are isolating at home in Auckland right now, yet fully vaccinated travellers with no Covid have to spend 14 days in MIQ. This system makes no sense. It is unfair and illogical.

“Data I revealed last week shows that fully vaccinated travellers to New Zealand present a negligible risk to the community, particularly a community with Covid already circulating. Just two out of thousands of fully vaccinated travellers to New Zealand have tested positive for Covid in MIQ on day eight or later since August 23.

“Thousands of New Zealanders have been shut out of their country of birth thanks to the inequitable lottery of human misery that is MIQ. The Government must make substantial changes to the system.

“A good place to start would be to implement National’s plan of fully vaccinated travellers with negative pre-departure tests and negative post-arrival tests being allowed to either isolate at home for a week (from medium-risk jurisdictions) or be free to go without self-isolation altogether.

“National’s plan would allow thousands of Kiwis to come home for Christmas, reuniting families and boosting tourism and business.

“It’s time to reopen New Zealand to the world. We can’t remain stuck in isolation forever. It’s time to start tearing down the barriers of Fortress New Zealand and bring Kiwis home.”