“The Government should make scanning into any premises with an official Ministry of Health Covid-19 tracing QR code compulsory for those people who haven’t switched on the official NZ Covid Tracer app’s Bluetooth capability,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Only around one in eight New Zealanders is using the NZ Covid Tracer app, and scanning into premises fell below 400,000 to just 391,754 yesterday, having been around 500,000 for a number of days in early January.

“Meanwhile the number of app users to have switched on their Bluetooth capability has just crept over 500,000 for the first time.

“You can bet that many of those using Bluetooth are also the ones scanning in, which means only a fraction of New Zealanders are using any electronic means of rapidly tracking and tracing a Covid-19 outbreak.

“We have a population of 5.1 million people, of whom almost 4.1 million are aged over 16, but only 2.4 million New Zealanders have the app.

“Around 80 per cent of New Zealanders have a smart phone.

“But if someone gets the virus in New Zealand today there’s only one in eight chance they using the app.

“Based on that ratio, if they give the virus to someone else there’s only a one in 64 chance they both have the app.

“That means the app will only work one time out of every 64 times the virus is transmitted from one person to another.

“We claim to cherish our freedoms amid a world in lockdown, yet unfortunately fewer than 10 per cent of New Zealanders are taking any steps at all to help rapidly track and trace an outbreak of Covid-19.

“And the new variants of the virus mean chances of a community outbreak have never been greater.

“This is an unacceptably dangerous situation.

“The Government mustn’t just sit back and let another hard-to-track outbreak occur, because the outcome will inevitably be another extremely costly lockdown.

“Many New Zealanders are understandably hesitant about Government compulsion, but sometimes, as in this case, not scanning in or using Bluetooth tracking is simply too dangerous to remain optional.

“The best thing we can do for freedom is avoid another five week lockdown.”