“The Prime Minister has just admitted “Stage One” was a placeholder for having no plan and that forcing people to isolate for up to 24 days was unworkable,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.
“Jacinda created a lockdown in all but name as people were too scared to go out. Today’s announcement of reduced isolation is welcome – but shows what a waste of time Stage One has been.
“A lack of Rapid Antigen Tests is a failing of this Governments. In civilised parts of the world such as New South Wales, Victoria and the UK, isolation can end early after having a negative RAT test.
“The cost of failing to secure RATs after banning them, then selectively allowing them, then confiscating them is huge. Productive time will be lost as people who are negative have to keep isolating because they can’t prove it, unable to work or see friends and family.
“What the Government should do is allow New Zealanders to import any test approved by Australia and allow people to be released from isolation as soon there’s a negative approved test.
“The Government seems completely oblivious to the cost it’s ham-fisted approach is putting on New Zealanders every day. As the outbreak grows it’s a recipe for queues in the supply chain.
“It’s not enough to say critical workers have access to the tests. People shouldn’t have to hope they’ll be accepted by the Government or its arcane rules to be considered critical. People should be able to test and leave isolation if they are negative so they can get back to their lives.”