A National-led petition demanding mandatory quarantine for everyone entering New Zealand’s borders has gained over 40,000 signatures in 24 hours.
Current measures see most people returning to New Zealand required to isolate for 14 days with everyone screened for Covid-19, but only some are quarantined if they have symptoms.
The petition is calling on the Government to require everyone arriving into New Zealand - symptomatic of coronavirus or not - to undergo at least 14 days of mandatory quarantine.
National leader Simon Bridges told TVNZ1’s Breakfast the experts on his committee all say quarantine is necessary, and the petition shows Kiwis do too.
“This is seriously urgent. I think as we’re sacrificing we need to make sure this lockdown is worthwhile,” said Mr Bridges.
“There’s dads who can’t see their newborns in hospitals, there’s loved ones who can’t go to funerals so we should do the things that matter and that are effective.”
Mr Bridges said the response to his petition has been “phenomenal”.
“In the time I’ve been Opposition Leader, two and a half years or something, I’ve never seen a response like this.
“We’ve only been going since yesterday afternoon that’s phenomenal.”
According to a statement issued by Mr Bridges this afternoon, the National party will now also extend the petition as it has "never had a response like this before".
Dr Ashley Bloomfield yesterday said stronger border measures were under “very active consideration”.
At present, anyone returning to the country who has symptoms is being tested and placed in isolation in an approved facility. If they are not symptomatic, but have no place to self-isolate, they will also go to an approved facility.
Those who can self-isolate are supposed to be checked in on by police, however Mike Bush, who's only just ended his time as Police Commissioner, said this was not happening, but "almost all" were being contacted using technology.
As of today New Zealand has 1210 cases, both confirmed and probable, of Covid-19.