“The wheels are falling off the Government’s response to COVID-19, it needs to show it is prepared to do more than just extend lockdowns,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“After the extension of today’s lockdown, many people will be asking what steps are in place to shorten lockdowns that we didn’t have last time.
“Long queues have formed for testing and many essential workers are missing work because of the time it’s taking to get a test and the result.
“High test numbers are great, but it shouldn’t be this hard to get one. Meanwhile, some health workers have been taken away from vaccinating stations to help with testing.
“Many of those testing stations are drive thru, but vaccination apparently cannot be done by car.
“So long as the Government is committed to nasopharyngeal swabs, testing will take skilled people away from vaccination centres, some of which are closed as a result. One of the advantages of saliva testing is that it does not require a health professional to make you salivate.
“Given the pressure on health workers, sending symptomatic health workers off to get tested is incomprehensible. There should be green lanes for frontline workers, a simple innovation that was, again, missed for 18 months.
“It’s a challenge to find anything that is different or improved from the last lockdown 18-months ago.
“Despite having a year and a half to prepare, many New Zealanders are still confused about the rules. Whether it’s butchers, bakers or greengrocers, or people unsure about where they can exercise. Anything from ice cream to sex toys can be delivered by courier, but many businesses cannot operate even if they are safe.
“Jacinda Ardern has warned people in her press conference not to break the rules, even threatening to name and shame them yesterday. it’s a shame the rules are so unclear.
“The Government urgently need to boost vaccination numbers, boost contact tracing and boost testing.
“It’s incredibly disappointing the Government didn’t have better plans in place. We’re now all paying the price with ongoing lockdowns.”