More confusion on RATs for teachers

Fri, 18 Feb, 2022

“The Government is all over the place when it comes to rapid antigen tests for teachers and it’s time for clarity,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Teachers have been told they are not classified as critical workers and therefore don’t have access to RATs. But this morning Andrew Little said if they are close contacts they want them to have access.

“On Tuesday, every principal in New Zealand got an email from the Ministry of Education saying teachers are not eligible for the Close Contact Exemption Scheme, or RATs, unless they were teaching children of critical workers. On Wednesday, Ayesha Verrall told Parliament teachers could access the scheme. Now Andrew Little says they should access the scheme.

“Little said this morning 'there’s a little bit of confusion about teachers and what have you.' This must be the understatement of 2022.

“He went on to say 'If the message isn’t getting through we have to take responsibility for that.'

“I agree. Take responsibility. Today Little and Chris Hipkins need to clearly communicate to teachers whether they are critical and what access they will have.

“The Government should legalise any test that can be used in Australia for immediate importation. At present Australia allows 26 different types of home use test and 67 point of care tests. We should simply say tomorrow that New Zealanders are free to import any type of test approved in Australia.”