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So the noose around Auckland is finally loosening, but don't get too excited.
We have nearly a month before we can head out to other parts of New Zealand to reconnect with family and friends and inject some much-needed Auckland disposable into the economy.
And given that a number of districts most visited by Aucklanders are well below the 90 per cent vaccination target, how is it all going to work? Well, thank you for asking, but amazingly, none of this is clear.
If you thought the unvaccinated wouldn't be able to travel, well, it appears they can.
Despite an implicit message from Ardern and Hipkins earlier this month that travel would be the privilege of the vaccinated, nope. You will need either to be double vaxxed OR to have had a negative test within 72 hours.
So, if you haven't been vaxxed you're free to leave.
I actually think the testing makes sense because as we know, even if you are vaxxed, there's a chance you could have Covid and pass it on.
So, before I head north, I will take a test - just to do a belt and braces job. And how will we know that everyone will comply? Again, thank you for asking. We won't know.
It's another high trust model. There will be no hard boundaries, no checkpoints heading south out of Auckland - just random spot checks from police, in much the same way as they do drink driving spot checks, WOF and rego checks.
It will apparently be a bit stricter at the northern border, given Northland's low vaccination rate, so police will be working with iwi - it will be interesting to see how that works.
And why aren't we loosening that border right away, given Auckland has achieved 90 per cent 1st vaccination? It's because, yet again, we're pandering to the minority.
Nine per cent of the country has yet to be vaccinated. Based on the percentages, the public health system should be able to cope that number.
It makes me very, very grumpy that I have to wait, my friends have to wait, to see family because the Government has decided that people who don't want protection, need protection and are being given one last final chance to get it.
I suppose it's something to look forward to but after this long, gruelling, punishing lockdown, joy and optimism is a lot harder to find than it used to be.
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