“The Government’s announcement about the rules for critical workforces today must provide clarity so we can get our way of life back”, says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“What is a critical worker or business? Jacinda Ardern has said it will be up to businesses to designate themselves:

‘We've had a number of systems all the way through our COVID management that have relied on businesses – once we've sent out some guidance – them then determining whether or not they fit that criteria.’

“The reality is, every worker and business is essential, and if businesses had been allowed to import or purchase rapid antigen tests, we wouldn’t need Wellington bureaucrats to micromanage them.

“Just like the Government’s ‘essential services’ rules, there will be no logic to the critical workforce rules. Some will miss out and workers won’t get tested if they’re not designated as a critical worker.

“That’s because the isolation rules are unworkable and disincentive getting tested.

“We’ve now had three weeks at Red because we don’t have enough rapid antigen tests. The Government shouldn’t have banned them in the first place.

“As ACT has been saying all along, the Ministry of Health should automatically approve any of the 67 point of care tests approved by Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration.

“Unbelievably, the Government now has its own process to decide if tests approved for use in other countries can be approved for use here. We should just let them be imported here.

“Allowing New Zealanders to take care of their own health would leave us in a much better position.

“New Zealanders need clear rules of the game so we can get our lives back.”