But what is a low or medium risk country......the genie is our of the bottle in Australia and it will only get worse ascrime goes on there.
Is Uk/Europe or the USA now medium risk?
The devil will be in the detail!
Medium and High risk is highly subjectively interpreted by people and border workers alike, It needs to be on a clear scale that everyone can find and understand without further clarification.
There is only one fair way to grade this to avoid it becoming just another political exercise for politically similar high tax western nations who like lockdowns, to close ranks on those who want to run a country differently from those "ideals", and that is by the percentage of the population vaccinated. Using such volatile and woefully inaccurate measures as current cases are an irrelevant media distraction.
In other words, it would work something like this (both the percentage cut-offs and quarantine guidelines just used as examples to differentiate)
80-100% Grade A No Quarantine required for all
60-80% Grade B No Quarantine required for vaccinated people 3 days self-isolation until cleared by a negative test
40-60% Grade C 3 days isolation for everyone, 7 days for unvaccinated cleared with a negative test
Unknown-40% Grade D 14 days isolation for all. (as currently)
For example, as a percentage of the total population (not just adults as some stats are) UAE sits at around 74.8 fully vaccinated 2 doses, USA 51.3, UK 60.5, Most of Europe between 50-60%, and Israel 60.9. China 56% Cambodia 42.9, Japan 36% Malaysia 32.2 and Brazil/Mexico around 22%.. It is easy to see that if they just stick to that kind of measure that it will actually open up plenty of the world again, with more and more countries added by the day. Each country would be aware of the requirements and know what level they had to reach in order to receive the equivalent to a restaurant health grade.
Vaccines are only a tool, only one tool of many, that lowers the all important transmission rates in communities.
Vaccination rates are by no means a sensible proxy for determining the threat of onward transmission rate from one community into another.
Even the vaccines used have significantly different effectiveness.
The only measure used to determine the risk from incoming travellers should be the curent actual transmission rates occuring in the country of departure. Seven day rolling average new cases per million population or similar and the rate of infection change. Obviously infection rates increasing is much more of a threat then stable, or decreasing rates. Infection rates reflects the effectiveness of the sum of all control methods employed in the location of departure, and any other locality specific factors.
Inspite of relitively high vaccination rates, infected ex UK arrivals still figure quite prominently in the daily NZ MIQ reports.
We are far far better off in the meantime continuing to position ourselves to keep in control of our covid response, then exposing ourselves, to a situation like NSW, where Covid is now dictating the required harsh responses, and threatening to so in the rest of Australia.
When we do relax country specific requirements for our border entry, it needs to be based on those current transmission rates and trends in the originating countries. And of course requiring travellers to be fully vaccinated.
Whilst it seems like a long time, it will probably be under two years since the initial impacts before we start significant reopening to the rest of the world.
A bit over 2% of our expected lifespans. And let's face it, here most of us here have only had to endure just over 7 weeks of lockdown, and for the vast majority of the rest of the time virtually no covid induced restrictions at all, unless we were impacted by border restrictions.