“Labour’s response to Covid-19 has always followed science – political science,” says ACT leader David Seymour.
“Three days after a TVNZ poll found that 75 per cent of voters thought we should immediately open borders to travelers who tested negative, the Labor Party has brought forward its reopening date for visitors by six months.
“Jacinda makes the rules as she goes and none of this is evidence-based.
“While this is good news, today’s announcement should be accompanied by an apology. Tourism and parts of the country that rely heavily on tourism have been devastated by the government’s refusal to reconnect with the rest of the world. world.
“Two weeks ago, I asked Jacinda Ardern two simple questions.
“How many cases and hospitalizations would result from immediately opening the border to all travellers? She did not know.
“How many hospitalizations were admitted to hospital due to Covid-19 and how many were admitted for something else and tested positive while there? She did not know.
“If border decisions are made to protect the hospital system, the Premier should be able to explain what cost-benefit analysis drives her decisions.”
“The reality is that Jacinda has played politics with people’s lives.
“It is time to move on from Covid-19.
“We should not maintain ineffective and costly rules because they make us feel comfortable if there is no evidence that they work. If the rules are not useful, they should go, and it should be up to the government that imposes them on us to explain why they should stay. It’s time to stop fear and control. It is time to move on.”
Acts pass plan offers:
- Contact scanning and tracing: Contact tracing creates relatively minor costs, but also offers negligible benefits because it does not reach enough potential contacts or does not reach them quickly enough given Omicron’s higher transmissibility. This results in some people isolating themselves because they are “pinched”, but often not in time to prevent them from transmitting the virus. The isolation resulting from the ping is a growing disaster for businesses and supply chains. The requirement for companies to post codes and have people scanned should be removed, along with the requirement to contact follow-up cases, as this simply does not work. Letting go of these requirements would be an important symbol that we are moving on and getting back to our way of life. This should be done immediately.
- Mask Requirements:
Well-worn, high-quality masks can help prevent the spread. Wearing the mask probably has significant benefits in reducing the spread of Omicron, although this is sensitive to the quality of the mask. Although extremely irritating, it is one of the few current policies where it is reasonable to believe that the benefits outweigh the costs.
- Amplifiers: Compared to a two-shot regimen, booster shots significantly reduce the risk of death and serious illness from COVID-19. There is a limited cost. Boosters are an important way to reduce the costs of the inevitable spread of Omicron in the community. Nevertheless, since most of the benefits of booster doses go to those who receive a booster, there is little reason to make them mandatory.
- Vaccine needs: It is difficult to justify a vaccination mandate solely on the grounds that it reduces the risk of hospitalization for the unvaccinated themselves and therefore the strain on the healthcare system. This effect has already reached saturation. Unless a new booster requirement is introduced, the requirement has a negligible effect on vaccination and should be discontinued immediately.
- Traffic light frame: The government wiped out major events and hospitality businesses at huge cost with no regard for the potential benefits. If they have a cost-benefit analysis for Omicron, they haven’t presented it. We were asked to accept these restrictions without knowing if they would improve us or by how much. Unless the government can show the benefits of restricting large events in an Omicron environment, in terms of reducing peak demand on hospital capacity, the traffic light system should be scrapped immediately so we can all get through to something else.
- Ban on importing RATs: There is no benefit to prohibition, but the costs are considerable. The government is expected to adopt ACT’s policy that New Zealanders can import any test approved by authorities in Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States or the European Union.
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