“Now more than ever a risk-weighted approach to managing incoming travellers is required to ensure we don’t experience another serious Covid-19 outbreak,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Rapid spread of a new ultra-virulent strain of Covid-19 in the UK and Europe is resulting in active risk mitigation strategies in other countries, but in New Zealand we still lump all our arrivals together, regardless of where they’ve travelled from.

“This is absolutely nuts. ACT has been proposing that we evolve to a risk-weighted approach since July.

“Noted epidemiologists Professor Michael Baker and Associate Professor Nick Wilson say we should have a ‘traffic light’ system that would block arrivals from Covid-19 hotspots and have fewer quarantine measures for travellers from countries with little or no virus.

“They are understandably frustrated that the Government won’t listen to them.

“ACT’s similar risk-weighted policy is based on the successful Taiwanese model.

“Common sense says some variant must become the next phase of New Zealand’s management of the virus at the border.

“The present system is costly, cumbersome and risky.

“Rather than throwing more money at that system and hoping for better results we need to evolve it to one that reflects the risk other countries pose to us.

“This will gradually allow the borders to open to jurisdictions where Covid-19 is under control, allowing struggling parts of the economy like tourism to trade more strongly.”