Thursday, 1 April 2021

Queensland cluster a useful trial run for trans-Tasman travel

“Queensland has just given New Zealand a lesson in how to contain an outbreak of COVID-19 and lift a lockdown,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Part of the reason for success was metropolitan Brisbane’s ability to ramp up community testing.

“A record 34,711 Queenslanders were tested in the past three days, without New Zealand’s perennial dramas of ramping up community testing as if it’s never been done before.

“On top of that, contact tracing has been exceptional.

“This is a test for the Ardern Government ahead of the April 6 announcement of next steps on quarantine free trans-Tasman travel.

“A risk proportionate response to COVID-19 is possible. The Queensland Government has decided a lockdown isn’t necessary to manage this outbreak but there will be restrictions in place for those living in or travelling to Queensland for the next 14 days.

“What we need to know is how the New Zealand Government plans to respond to situations like this, because they will continue to happen.

“What are the thresholds for halting or continuing to travel going to be?

“On April 6 New Zealanders need to know what our settings for this sort of scenario will be, both for travellers into Australia and, if the Government is going to respond rationally, travellers into New Zealand.”