The minister in charge of New Zealand’s managed Isolation and quarantine system says the Government has an expectation that returnees will follow the rules in order to keep Covid-19 out of the country.
Housing Minister, Megan Woods made the comments today as she announced changes the Government was making following a review of the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) system.
She said New Zealand has one of the strictest regimes in the world which is why the country has achieved success in stamping out Covid-19.
“Most other countries aren’t even attempting to do this and the fact that we are doing this is one of the reasons why New Zealand is in a unique position in terms of managing Covid in its country.
“It’s caught Covid at the border, we’ve seen those cases that have occurred within the facilities but what we have not seen is community transmission from those cases,” she said.
While she said the ‘team of five million’ had all worked hard to stamp out the virus, Ms Woods said there is a certain amount of trust that returnees would also make sacrifices.
“It is absolutely our responsibility to make sure that we have a robust system in place that ensures nobody is leaving the facilities who pose a threat to New Zealanders’ health or the gains that we have made.
“What we cannot give an absolute guarantee of is the behaviour of individuals.”
Ms Woods said the system requires trust and that the Government was looking at what assurance processes were in place to make sure that people are following the rules.
“But fundamentally, this comes back to what we said at the very beginning – this relies on those seeking to re-join the team of five million to be willing to make a sacrifice of two weeks, to abide by the rules – we all did it and that got us to the position we are in today,” she said.
It comes as four new cases of Covid-19 at the border were announced today.
There continue to be no cases in the community.
All four cases involve people who have recently returned from overseas and were in managed isolation facilities and brings the number of active cases in New Zealand to 20.
Currently there are 4692 people across 21 managed isolation and quarantine facilities in four different regions, the Ministry of Health told 1 NEWS today.