“ACT is calling on the Government to drop travel vaccination requirements that are hampering our tourism sector,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“The rest of the world is moving on and dropping these rules, once again New Zealand is lagging behind the pack.

“Cruise companies are back operating in the US and Europe where travellers are now only required to provide a negative RAT test to go on holiday. They’re not coming to New Zealand because our rules still enforce passengers to be fully vaccinated.

“This policy is unnecessary and is preventing valuable tourism dollars from coming to New Zealand. The reality is that using rapid antigen tests as an alternative to vaccination gives a greater assurance that a health worker does not have COVID-19 than their vaccination status anyway.

“We welcome tourists coming back. But why not just get on with it now? Omicron is already in the community, so the border is the least of our worries.

“An abundance of caution has become an abundance of cost for Kiwis. We should not keep ineffective and costly rules just because they make us feel comfortable or poll well.

“ACT has been calling for Labour to move on since February when we released our Move On policy document. We realised that as the pandemic changes so should our response, Labour is yet to catch on.

“We cannot justify having tourism operators experiencing extreme hardship and stress for a policy that makes no logical sense and isn’t protecting anyone.

“If 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 the fear and the control. It’s time to move on.”

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David Seymour