Change New Zealand's current approach to managing the border

Change New Zealand's current approach to managing the border

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Larissa Merz started this petition to Jacinda Ardern and

When it comes to NZ quarantine facilities, do the ends justify the means?

This petition is to replace the outdated, draconian Managed Isolation Quarantine system (MIQ) with a more sensible, risk-weighted approach that provides for a choice between MIQ and a self-quarantine period.

For this petition to be recognized, we need signatures on NZ Parliament website. See: parliament official petition link

Since March 2020, all arrivals into NZ - Kiwis, foreign workers, students, visitors, EVERYONE – have been forced into 14 days of mandatory quarantine. Most Kiwis, who genuinely need to come and go, are required to pay $3000+ for their incarceration, despite working out of office and spending money in NZ while costing NZ nothing. Caps on passenger numbers have been imposed on NZ-bound airlines crushing a major asset and allowing foreign airlines to take the market space. Managed Isolation Quarantine (MIQ) has proven to be very challenging to manage, even resulting in spread of Covid in innocent people. MIQ accommodation vouchers booking system is a disaster, with the Government favouring the famous over bona fide citizens and residents. Now there is the PCR test requirement prior to departure - without any water-tight reasoning behind it. The list goes on. As of today, nothing mitigates the requirement for 14 days MIQ. Even numerous negative PCR tests in MIQ cannot shorten the time period despite 4-5 days being the average incubation time with an outlier of 8 days published in June 2020. Hence, nearly all countries in the world ask only for 8-10 days home isolation. Efficacy in vaccines is only at 70%, so the elimination strategy is fundamentally impossible. 

We are going for a holy grail that only leaves the country perpetually isolated. This is logic defying. Not only is the current MIQ policy irrational, it is costly, ineffective and inhumane.

What we have learned about Covid-19 over the last year is that the virus is not as deadly as originally thought. The countries that have followed WHO advice have been successful in containing the virus while keeping their economies going, avoiding lockdowns and trusting their citizens to mitigate spread by enhanced hygiene and distancing. Surely New Zealanders have the ability to do the same.

Why is reopening important? NZ largest export industries, tourism, hospitality, agriculture and education are heavily dependent on international travel. Kiwi families both here in NZ and living abroad face indefinite separation from their loved ones.

Proposed action: border measures to limit the influx of the virus (mitigated risk)

The new policy should be:

-        a border screening process which involves both a saliva and antibody test upon arrival

-        From ‘Covid cold zones’ 4 days maximum in MIQ which are free as a public health service

-        From ‘Covid hot zones’ 6 days maximum MIQ which are free as a public health service

-        If vaccinated, or previously diagnosed having had Covid-19 over the last 6 months then documentation could be provided and no MIQ, just 10 days home isolation as per WHO advice and almost every other country in the world’s isolation.

We encourage New Zealand to abandon “one size fits all” approach as it has proven costly and inefficient but rather encourage dealing with the diversity of experiences within the context of a global pandemic.

These measures will minimise the risk of infections getting into the country across the border. This will allow New Zealand’s borders to reopen safely, allowing Kiwis to exercise their right of movement and the struggling parts of NZ economy to recover.

New Zealand should begin reconnecting with the world.

#reopentheborders #dosomethingnewNewZealand

0 have signed. Let’s get to 1,000!
At 1,000 signatures, this petition is more likely to be featured in recommendations!