"A 67 per cent rise in workplace absenteeism proves what ACT has been saying for months, it’s time to dump restrictions that no longer make sense,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Stats NZ today released figures showing ‘of the 2.8 million employed people in the March 2022 quarter, 44,200 were away from work for a full week because of sickness, illness, or injury (1.6 percent of employed people), an increase of 17,700 people compared with the March 2021 quarter.’

“The seven-day isolation period for covid cases and household contacts is unworkable and costly.The New Zealand economy missed nearly 18,000 weeks of work in three months over and above normal.

ACT’s Move On paper released in February said that “as soon as a case receives a negative result, whenever that occurs after the initial 72 hours, they are free to go.”

“Our paper also said that rigid seven-day isolation requirement would be the worst of all worlds. People who can’t afford seven days off will still go to work sick, people who are not sick or have recovered must keep isolating even if they test negative.

“One of the reasons we have a cost of living crisis is broken supply chains caused by staff shortages. The Government could immediately fix this by adopting the Singaporean policy recommended by ACT nearly three months ago. After 72 hours of isolation and a negative test, you’re free to go.”

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