Michael Baker: Government's quarantine plans will reduce covid-19 risk

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Mar 2020, 7:20PM
Everyone arriving internationally will be screened. (Photo / File)

Michael Baker: Government's quarantine plans will reduce covid-19 risk

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 25 Mar 2020, 7:20PM

There is support for the Government's new quarantine rules.

Border enforcement would step up, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said today, so that all New Zealanders returning home from overseas will be screened.

Up to 10,000 Kiwis could come home by the end of the month, and some of them may pose a health risk.

"If they are symptomatic, they will be tested and they will be put in isolation in an approved facility."

Asymptomatic people without the means to self-isolate will also be put in an approved facility, as would those who did not have a suitable way to stay isolated while traveling from the airport to their home city.

Recent arrivals with suitable self-isolation plans will be checked on by police in the days that follow, and they will be fined and quarantined if they fail to self-isolate properly.

Approved isolation facilities will be hotels, mainly, and the Government has already looked at hotels near airports to be used.

Public health professor Dr Michael Baker told Heather du-Plessis Allan the new rules reduce the risk of further spread.

"You cannot physically quarantine every person coming back to New Zealand at the moment, so you focus on those who are high risk, and those with symptoms in particular."