Restrictions Lifting in NZ, Why Not In Australia?

Premiers in Australia now are, or talking about ramping up restrictions. But in New Zealand…

The following two articles from the New Zealand Herald:

Covid 19 Omicron rules changed: Outdoor gathering limits scrapped; vaccine passes and some mandates end April 4 – Jacinda Ardern

The Government is scrapping the limit on outdoor gatherings from Friday and has revealed the end of vaccine pass use and mandates for some industries from next month.

The number of people allowed to gather inside increases from 100 to 200 under the changes to the red light traffic setting.

Masks will continue to be used, but today’s move means outdoor concerts, sports and other outdoor events would be able to resume under the red setting from this weekend.

The traffic light changes will kick in from 11.59pm this Friday, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said.

Vaccine passes will no longer be required to be used from 11.59pm on April 4.

The Government is also ending the controversial vaccine mandates in education, Police or Defence Force workers from April 4.

“Covid is still with us and it will be for some time to come, that’s why we are keeping in place our Covid protection framework.”

The future of lockdowns

Asked if she could rule out lockdowns in the future, Ardern said there was a lot of work going into looking at future variants.

“There are tools we will keep in our back pockets. The truth is we don’t know what the pandemic will produce next.”

Ardern didn’t close the door on the possibility of future lockdowns, saying the “whole world is reserving the flexibility should we see something dire” in terms of a new and deadlier variant.

“There is nothing we are currently experiencing that would suggest we will need [lockdowns] and that has been the case for a long time.”

She said examples of those tools included reintroducing scanning and vaccine passes. She advised people to not delete the CovidTracer app from their phones.

Ardern said most countries would be reluctant to completely rule out such things, but that was not what was being predicted.

The timing for easing on these restrictions was because there was a clearer picture of when Omicron would peak.

“I consider this to be a cautious moving forward.”

It meant removing restrictions that carried least risk, while keeping those such as isolation and mask use which did make a difference.

Vaccine passes would likely be updated in May or June – when they are due to expire – to require three doses of the vaccine for those workplaces still choosing to require them.

Ardern said she expected that businesses that broke the rules while the vaccine passes were in place would continue to face investigations and WorkSafe could enforce the fines for breaches.

What it means for schools: ”Cautious moving forward’

Asked if school boards could require all teachers to be vaccinated, Ardern said she needed to check.

“But we are no longer requiring a mandate across all of education,” she said.

On removing the teachers’ mandate and whether it would put immuno-compromised children at risk, Ardern said the vaccination rate and immunity from having had Covid-19 had made it a safer decision and mask use and improved ventilation systems in schools were also safety measures.

On greater access to N95 and P2 masks, Ardern said there was yet to be more discussion about whether they needed to step up Government provision of them, and surgical masks were also a good option.

Associate Health Minister Ayesha Verrall said there was a concern for children regarding winter and respiratory diseases including the flu RSV.

Some of the measures being used for Covid – such as masks – would also help with other viruses.

Ardern said New Zealand had suffered very little flu in the past two winters, and the country was part of a research group on the impact once the borders re-opening.

CONTINUE READING HERE

Government drops MIQ requirement for unvaccinated Kiwi travellers

The New Zealand Government has quietly dropped MIQ and self-isolation requirements for unvaccinated Kiwi travellers.

Previously, only fully vaccinated New Zealanders could bypass isolation requirements when they enter the country. The unvaccinated had to spend seven days in MIQ and three days self-isolating at home.

The announcement, which was published and came into effect on Friday night, said the Government had agreed that unvaccinated New Zealand citizens, and those who are eligible to travel to New Zealand, do not need to enter MIQ or to self-isolate.

“This also means that those eligible unvaccinated arrivals who entered MIQ prior to 11.59pm on Friday 18 March will be released from MIQ.”

The statement said minimum vaccination requirements for travel to New Zealand will apply to non-New Zealand citizens, including permanent residents, unless they have an exemption.

“Travellers entering New Zealand will still be required to undertake rapid antigen tests on days 0/1 and 5/6 and report the results. If a traveller tests positive, they will need to undertake a PCR test, and isolate in accordance with the requirements for positive Covid-19 cases.

“Managed isolation and quarantine (MIQ) will be used in limited circumstances, by some refugees, arrivals from Afghanistan, maritime crew, and some international aircrew.”

It was announced last week that MIQ will reduce to four facilities by the end of June 2022.

The statement said this change to the border entry requirements further reflects the reduced demand for MIQ as we reopen our borders.

CONTINUE READING HERE

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Responses

  1. Here’s hoping this outburst of intelligence jumps the Tasman ASAP. The ‘leaders’ here are still pushing case numbers as if they are actually meaningful.

  2. “… on removing the teachers’ mandate and whether it would put immuno-compromised children at risk …”

    If there’s one thing that I find more frustrating that any other element of the COVID narrative it’s the idea that those who have had jabs are somehow “safer” to be around than those who haven’t had them. This happens despite no one, (not even big Pharma), claiming that the jabs provide immunity. Granted noises have been made that the jabs “might” make it less likely to catch COVID but it’s all very vague and there’s little if any scientific evidence to support this claim.

    There is however increasing evidence that 3 or 4 jabs is likely to damage your immune system and ultimately make you more likely to catch viruses, including COVID. I look forward to the day when people with >= 3 jabs are forced to isolate to protect the rest of us. Never happen, but wouldn’t it be fun. 🙂

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