Zero Covid cases in fully vaccinated travellers from Australia since August 23

The Government should immediately allow fully vaccinated travellers from Australia to come to New Zealand and skip MIQ before Christmas in light of Chris Hipkins’ admission in Parliament today that there has not been a single positive Covid case in fully vaccinated travellers from Australia from August 23 to December 6, National’s Covid-19 Spokesperson Chris Bishop says.

“The Government is stubbornly refusing to allow fully vaccinated Kiwis in Australia from coming home for Christmas on the basis they are a “cumulative risk” to New Zealand. This flies in the face of the facts. Over 4800 travellers have come to New Zealand from Australia since August 23 and as Chris Hipkins told me in Parliament today, not one single fully vaccinated traveller has tested positive for Covid.

“There will be empty chairs at the Christmas dinner table this year thanks to the Government’s stubborn refusal to adopt a fair and proportionate approach at the border. Kiwi travellers from Australia will be allowed from January 17, but why not now?

“The data is very clear. The risk of allowing fully vaccinated travellers from Australia to New Zealand is pretty much zero.

“From tomorrow, fully vaccinated Aucklanders can leave Auckland and travel around the country; but fully vaccinated New Zealanders offshore cannot travel to New Zealand unless they win a spot in the MIQ lottery. This doesn’t make any sense.

“In the Government’s own words, Covid is here and it is spreading. It is a real perversion of priorities to have fully vaccinated travellers without Covid in MIQ taking up space that could be better used for people in the community who actually have Covid.

“MIQ is causing enormous human anguish and pain and the sooner we can dismantle it, the better. New Zealand cannot remain in splendid isolation forever, locked away from the rest of the world. We have to connect to the rest of the world and given the risk of allowing fully vaccinated travellers from Australia is so low, New Zealand’s first move should be to allow fully vaccinated travellers from Australia.”