Hipkins: NZ's border measures are 'pretty damn' close to foolproof

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Jan 2021, 9:45AM
(Photo / Supplied)
(Photo / Supplied)

Hipkins: NZ's border measures are 'pretty damn' close to foolproof

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 18 Jan 2021, 9:45AM

The Covid-19 Response Minister has confidence in New Zealand's current border measures

Some health experts have expressed concerns over the possibility of new virus strains breaching the border and causing mayhem within the community.

Chris Hipkins told Mike Hosking he's spent the last six months looking at how they can reduce risk as much as possible.

"You're never going to have something that is 100 per cent foolproof but you can get pretty damn close and I think we're pretty damn close now."

He said the Government would move to extend pre-flight travel testing to other nations this week.

"My advice to anyone coming to New Zealand long haul, unless you're coming from Australia or the Pacific, is start planning to make sure you have the negative pre-departure test before you come."

There was concern at the rising proportion of positive cases in new arrivals, however it was hoped widening testing would mean the number of number of infection cases in quarantine would be capped at 100 at any one time.

He said the Government was not looking at further reducing the number of people entering New Zealand along the same lines as Australia.

"You can only come in if you have a voucher and we're only issuing vouchers for the space that we've got available and the people we can safely accommodate. We've been doing that rationing for quite some time now anyway," he said.

Meanwhile, New Zealand was still waiting for vaccine supplies to arrive.

"The manufacturers are focusing on sending them to the countries where thousands of people are dying every day. New Zealand and Australia are about the same place in the queue so we're likely to receive our first shipments around the same time and that will be sometime between now and the end of March."