COVID 19 Delta outbreak: Alert level review with new vaccine passport – Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson

September 27, 2021 Today, 12 new cases of Kovid-19 have been reported in the community. The seven-day moving average of Covid cases in New Zealand is now 15, down from 17 last week and 19 the week before.

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The government is revising its alert level system – and broader freedoms – as more kiwis vaccinate and a new vaccination passport is on the way.

Deputy Prime Minister Grant Robertson said the government was updating its work around the alert level framework on the grounds that it had seen an excellent response to vaccination.

“We want to grow over 90 percent of the time, keep moving forward and open up a whole range of options for Delta for ourselves,” Robertson told TODAY AM.

In early November, there should be a vaccination passport that can be downloaded on people’s phones.

The app was managed by the Ministry of Health who worked with private providers to develop it.

What the alert level outline with the vaccination passport would look like was underway and announcements including requirements in this regard are likely to be made in the coming weeks.

ACT Party Leader David Seymour told Newstalk ZB’s Mike Hosking that his COVID package revealed today will drop to level 4. “We need to start using isolation in a targeted manner. The costs and benefits of isolating an entire city do not compare to those of the Delta.

He said solitary confinement should be reserved for those who had recently arrived in New Zealand and MIQ would end – people could do it at home.

Robertson said today that public health officials are confident about the state of the COVID outbreak in Auckland.

He acknowledged that many of the cases were domestic contacts.

“We feel positive about the direction of the trip, but as we said before, there is a long line with Delta and that is what we are experiencing now,” he told TVNZ’s Breakfast.

Robertson said the government would not make vaccination mandatory. “The idea that we were going for compulsory vaccination, I think, is beyond
Where New Zealand has never been in this regard.

New Zealand was doing pretty well without the mandatory vaccination rule.

Robertson said the mandatory vaccination rule would be very unpopular among Kiwis and pose human rights concerns.

Ways to increase vaccination rates will include initiatives already seen in the community – including new vaccination buses and vaccination centers run by Maori and Pasifikas – as well as ordinary people helping family members who are currently too hesitant to receive the vaccine.

“I think this is where each of us has a responsibility,” he said. “Sit down and have a conversation with this person in our lives who is probably a little hesitant… who is a little worried and a little confused about some information.

“Each of us has the chance to be a vaccine hero and to get out there and talk. That’s how we get there, ”said Robertson.

Speaking of Vaccine Passport, he said the “technology” was being developed with members of the business community.

Bypass the MIQ – 150 in the lead

A home isolation test for some business travelers has been hailed as a ‘first crack’ when our borders reopen – but an expert warns that if it doesn’t seal the ‘long tail’ of the Auckland epidemic If applied it can mean very little.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said self-isolation was seen as a future option for the highly vaccinated public.

But, before the country reaches that stage, a trial involving 150 fully vaccinated travelers who can bypass MIQ and self-isolate at home, will begin in late October and last for about six weeks.

This will be coupled with a testing and monitoring system and passengers will not be able to leave their homes or be there unless they are also traveling as part of the same group.

Ardern said the move is an indication of the direction the government wants to take in the future. She has also witnessed short periods of isolation for some.

“All of this will help overcome the barriers that have kept our borders secure. “

The government’s announcement of self-isolation was greeted with open arms by Auckland Chamber of Business CEO Michael Barnett, who predicted that “businesses closed in New Zealand or blocked in abroad and closed to the MIQ to participate in the trial “. made”.

He said the struggling business pilot program “desperate to return to the market” was “the first crack in opening borders securely.”

Barnett predicted there would be no setback as a result of the test, although Auckland is still struggling to contain Delta’s latest outbreak.

“They have skin in the game and all companies, especially the pioneers of this test, would like to show that they recognize that the ability to travel while New Zealand lives with restrictions to eliminate COVID is a privilege.” , did he declare. .

Epidemiologist Dr Michael Baker said it was good to see self-isolation tests but warned how much one can learn.

“To really do a proper study, you have to do it on a massive scale. It would be very low risk, but it would show how the mechanics could work. “

“The real question will be how it will work when it is extended to thousands of people.”

Low-risk countries to join could include Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Covid-free states in mainland China, he said.

The big question, however, was where New Zealand stood next year with the virus and if it was still spreading here, as well as the level of vaccination, he said.

“If we are still in a state of low or no transmission, then same eradication compared to the endemic spread of the virus. These things will determine our tolerance for the coming virus. “

3000 MIQ rooms up for grabs

Kiwis living abroad hoping to return home will have another chance to secure a place in isolation and managed quarantine once 3,000 rooms are online.

Retired Sue Hotu told TVNZ she has been trying to return to New Zealand from the Gold Coast since May.

Her first round of MIQ seats in the government’s new virtual lobby didn’t suit her, when she logged in to find she was already behind thousands of people in a virtual queue.

Hotu said she would be up again at 6 p.m. NZT tonight, hoping to make one of the 3,000 rooms available.

“There were about 11,000 people in front of me… and then it was just, ‘Oh my god, there’s no hope of getting a place in hell.’

“I sat there for three hours, waiting, and the numbers kept dropping – it was really hard,” she said, becoming emotional.

One thing Hotu demanded was an improved system that automatically linked an MIQ spot to a confirmed plane ticket.

The way things are set up now, that means anyone who succeeds in securing a room at MIQ has to try to secure a seat on the return flight.

“This is madness. If you have 3,000 MIQ seats, there must be 3,000 flights (tickets) accompanying them – don’t try to find seats later.

When asked if she has any hope today, Hotu said she is going to be positive.

It is still unclear whether the Auckland epidemic was under control and any impact from the level 3 move will be visible in the coming days.

Health Director-General Dr Ashley Bloomfield said the seven-day moving average of Covid cases in New Zealand was now 15, down from 17 last week and 19 the week before.

” We are progressing. A lot of our clusters are now considered contained, or the clusters are dormant, ”Bloomfield said.

Baker said it was clear that the virus was now spread between specific groups and that a more targeted approach was needed to quickly eliminate the virus.

“We’re on a razor’s edge right now. “

Without a focused approach, Baker said, Auckland could hover between Tier 2 and Tier 3 for a while.

covid

ACT chief David Seymour criticized the time it took to test self-isolation, saying nothing had changed in the past six months and the government was being guided by the search for opinion rather than science.

“We should be on such a self-isolation plan to have up to thousands of passengers per week. All of Auckland has self-isolated over the past seven weeks. Stating that 150 passengers self-isolate after the trip is hardly new to them.

“A business travel network was first proposed as part of our COVID 2.0 article in March, when we said, ‘The business travel network is the best place for travelers to visit. business while safely managing the risk of COVID-19. establish specific requirements for

He said the law’s policy also included traffic light systems and special testing requirements.

Meanwhile, plans to resume non-quarantine travel for Pacific CSR workers will resume with Vanuatu from early October, Ardern said.

All participants from Vanuatu, Samoa and Tonga will need at least one dose of vaccine.

Ardern said it allows a short “pseudo” form of isolation to be tested for some passengers.

CSR workers will also be required to self-isolate for seven days upon arrival, but are not required to do so at the MIQ facility.

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