Mike's Minute: Government must wake up on vaccine passports

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 7 Apr 2021, 10:14AM

Mike's Minute: Government must wake up on vaccine passports

Author
Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 7 Apr 2021, 10:14AM

There is a simple advantage of a vaccine passport, and this is why our tragically slow roll out of the vaccine is little short of a scandal.

You can't have a passport without a vaccine, we don’t have vaccine, we don't know when, short of the vaguest half yearly sort of guess, when we will have a vaccine.

The droplets of vaccine we have had hasn’t been rolled out at the rate they said it would, so god knows what sort of mess it'll be by November or December.

But the point is this, as of next month, Singapore is accepting vaccine passports. In other words, you’ve had your jab, you've got your app, and you're off.

This is the world reopening.

The two questions for the government that they haven't got around to dealing with yet is once I am offshore upon my return why am I still in MIQ if i have been vaccinated? And why, when the world is going to be offering more and more opportunities to do business, are we still defending the idea that we were never in any rush to vaccinate?

We are in a part of the world , Asia-Pacific, that by in large is proactive in these matters. Singapore, Taiwan, Vietnam, and China are all countries that are moving forward and fast.

It's the sort of reaction you would have expected.

Australia is leaving us behind. The thought of us being in lockstep with them as Chris Hipkins so often stated is now laid bare as the joke and lie it always was.

This, by the way, isn't about holidays, it's about business. The business of tourism, markets, growth, and returning to some sort of normality. The CDC over the weekend said all Americans vaccinated can now travel freely domestically and internationally.

Are they coming here? Of course not, why would they? They'll go to Singapore who have their act together and their doors open. Of course, the vaccine isn't the magic elixir some might want it to be, but it is the biggest step forward so far and by some margin.

With it comes a global acceptance of one of the most important things we do in the 21st century, travel and freedom of movement. Singapore in May, Americans by the end of May, and Brits on holiday in June to August. The world is opening up.

Vaccines are the key, and we still sit here at the bottom of the world, more reliant on travel than most, kidding ourselves that there is no rush, we don’t need the world, travel isn't important, and none of this matters.

Some have been sucked in by the government and some just live their lives in fear.

But we are getting left behind. We have dropped the ball, we lack a plan, we lack a date, and we lack leadership.

We had a year to get this sorted and we've wasted it.