“It's taken the Government more than six months to adopt a new technology based on evidence everyone had in February,” says ACT’s Deputy Leader and Health spokesperson Brooke van Velden.

“The Government’s ability to work with private business and adopt new technology is hopeless, as we have been saying all along.

“ACT first called for saliva testing in February in Parliament raising evidence from the Journal of American Medical Associations.

“In the meantime, pilots and border workers have had to endure swabs repeatedly shoved up their noses when there was an alternative all along.

“Hipkins today said "saliva testing is an increasingly viable and reliable method for public health surveillance purposes".

“He needs to explain what’s changed since February and why it’s taken so long.

“There are plenty of other ideas in our COVID 2.0 plan, I implore Jacinda Ardern and Chris Hipkins to have a read and adopt more of our plans so we can be more proactive instead of reacting when things go wrong."

A full list of 15 policy proposals are available to the Government, free of charge from ACT here: https://www.act.org.nz/covid-response

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