PM's warning to anyone heading overseas: 'You may be charged for quarantine'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Jun 2020, 10:01AM
Jacinda Ardern said her message to people planning overseas holidays is clear. Photo / Getty Images
Jacinda Ardern said her message to people planning overseas holidays is clear. Photo / Getty Images

PM's warning to anyone heading overseas: 'You may be charged for quarantine'

Author
NZ Herald,
Publish Date
Tue, 30 Jun 2020, 10:01AM

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has warned anyone in New Zealand considering overseas travel that they may be charged for the use of border facilities for quarantine upon their return.

Ardern made the comment during her weekly press conference this afternoon, where she also announced it is spending another $150 million on personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in border facilities and in healthcare.

The Government was looking into the legalities to require new arrivals to stay in their rooms for the first three days of their stay in their facilities, Ardern said.

Minister in charge of the facilities Megan Woods said the day three test still might not pick up someone incubating the virus, but director general of health Ashley Bloomfield and Air Commodore Darryn Webb were looking into what options were available.

Ardern said requiring people to stay in their rooms would be "another layer of protection".

The Prime Minister said the issue of charging people for quarantine in the hotels is a complex issue that the Government is actively looking at.

Ardern said for anyone looking to go overseas, especially ahead of the school holidays, it isn't fair for taxpayers to pick up the tab for their return so the Government is looking into its options as to how to charge them for border facilities.

"One message I'm sending clearly to New Zealanders though, for anyone considering a non-essential trip, we will be looking at whether or not you end up being charged on your return, because you have choices. I accept that some will have essential reasons, but for others, it's just not fair to expect New Zealanders to pick up the tab on that," the Prime Minister said.

"My view is that if you're making a choice to go on a holiday offshore, with the expectation that taxpayers pick up the tab on your return, that it's right for us to look at whether or not we can deal with that."

Ardern said people travelling overseas for holidays put "extra pressure on New Zealanders who need to come home".

"You actually have a choice on whether you leave or not," she said.