Aaron747 wrote:Francoflier wrote:Toenga wrote:At this stage also we cannot expect any relaxation of border controls until at least all eligible people have had reasonable chance to get vaccinated.
Right now out priority is to eliminate the current outbreak of 30 known cases and get back to life without covid induced restrictions bar those operating at our border. More info will come with the PMs press conference in half an hour.
I am still somewhat puzzled by what the end game is for NZ, OZ and all the Asian nations that seem to still pursue zero-Covid policies...
Even a largely vaccinated population does not prevent infection waves, nor completely eliminates hospitalizations or even deaths.
Where is the line drawn and how do they go from 'We cannot accept a single Covid case' to 'Catching Covid is now acceptable' ?
Given that Covid will likely end up being endemic, zero-Covid policies are essentially doomed to fail over time, or at least doomed to strict self-isolation and harsh restrictions forever.
Granted, if you're going to make the switch, you want to wait until as much as the population as possible is vaccinated, which makes sense, but I've always wondered how, on a political and psychological level, these nations will go from considering Covid an inacceptable threat to accepting that it will spread among people and make many sick, even kill quite a few people.
The logic escapes me as well. Only a combination of widely implemented vaccination and mask protocols for given situations will be successful. Limiting the movement of people is neither effective or necessary if the prior two conditions are met.
Currently NZ is maintaining it's strategy of preventing covid incursions across its border and rapidly extinguishing any outbreaks when they occur in parallel with its vaccination program. The objectives of this vaccination program are to get it done as fast as possible whilst ulimately ensuring that coverage is as thorough as is reasonably possible. This both requires countering any vaccination hesitancy and allocating sufficient time.
There is actually only a very limited economic imperative for any haste here. For by far the bulk of our tourism and hospitality operators any disruption by covid or any covid control measures far outweighs any enlargement of their customer base by overseas tourists could bring.
This is especially true in our peak holiday season mid December to February already heavily booked by domestic travellers. So next Autumn shoulder season when our vaccination program should be well completed is perhaps the earliest we can expect changes.
Expect a staged opening only and only to fully vaccinated travellers Firstly to residents travelling directly from countries with low current transmission rates. We will probably then manage covid like we do polio and measles, certainly not just live with it, but rather local notification and isolation measures.
It most likely will be a dynamic risk based border assessment similar to how terrorism threats are currently handled in most of the world.