It seems there might a possible solution to the problem of the All Blacks spending Christmas day in quarantine away from their families.
This is an idea, that’s being supported by the Players’ Association which represents the players.
The solution? Let the All Blacks out of quarantine early.
At the moment, if this Rugby Championship competition does actually go ahead, the last game will be played on 12 December. So if All Blacks catch a flight back to NZ the next day, 13 December, they will get out of quarantine on 27 December, two days after Christmas.
But what the Players’ Association is suggesting is that they start their quarantine in Australia, BEFORE that last rugby game.
So let’s say, they start on the 10th, and then they’ll be out of quarantine on Christmas Eve.
That gonna fly with you? Because, that’s got holes all over it for me.
In order for that to work, everyone involved in that last game has to go into a quarantine bubble with the All Blacks before the game. So that’s the Wallabies, the refs, the caterers, anyone the All Blacks might come into contact with. So the game is in a bubble, then the All Blacks need to be in a bubble on the plane over here, then they do the last 11 or so days quarantine in a hotel in NZ.
Would you be OK with that? Because that’s a helluva lot less safe than just sticking them in a hotel for two weeks, right?
I don’t mind the idea in theory, and I want the government to be flexible on rules, but if it’s going to flexible it needs to be prepared to apply the new rules equally to everyone coming into the country.
Otherwise, it’ll have to explain to other Kiwis sitting in quarantine on Christmas Day away from their families why they can’t also start their quarantine bubble a few days before they jump on the plane.
And they need to explain this to people with dying relatives, like the brother of former TVNZ reporter Ruth Wynn-Williams, who wasn’t allowed out of quarantine in Auckland to see his dad before he died.
This is different to a couple of weeks back when rugby bosses asked the government to allow bigger training bubbles in quarantine. That still kept the principle of 14 days’ quarantine in this country intact. This is essentially just asking to be allowed out early.
The Players’ Association is dreaming if they think this is going to be acceptable to the public.