Even Helen Clark says Government needs a reopening plan

Stuff reports:

Sir Peter Gluckman, former Prime Minister Helen Clark and former Air New Zealand chief Rob Fyfe have co-authored a paper saying New Zealand needs to start the process of working out how the country can “more completely re-engage with the world”.

“We need to be thinking about defining our longer-term strategy. Is New Zealand prepared to hold itself in its state of near-total isolation for the indefinite future?” the paper asked.

“Even opening the Trans-Tasman bubble looks further away than it did a month ago with resurgent community spread in at least one Australian state.”

A vaccine against Covid-19 could be much further away than the hype suggested, the authors said, questioning whether New Zealand could “afford to wait out another year, two years, or even more in almost total physical isolation”.

“This is not just affecting tourism and export education, but also the many ways in which New Zealand projects and leverages its place in the world.”

With an election in less than three months, the authors also queried to what extent the political cycle was affecting necessary discussion and decisions.

Its madness to keep the borders closed for two or more years.

What the Government needs to do is set explicit objective criteria for allowing people to travel to NZ. This might be:

  • Coming from an area with a covid-19 rate below x
  • Has proof of a negative covid-19 test in the last week
  • Will pay for and undergo 14 days quarantine
  • Agrees to be tested on days 3 and 13

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