With hundreds of millions of people now vaccinated against Covid there’s no sensible reason why we can’t open our borders to them.
Our tourist industry needs it desperately and so does the nation. Tourism pre-Covid was our major foreign exchange earner. Printing money is no substitute for earning it.
Covid has been a huge boon for incumbent governments electorally, as evidenced in New Zealand, Australia, and Britain and maintaining a closed shop when it’s longer necessary, invites cynicism.
Last week France opened its borders to all certified vaccine visitors, so too Thailand, Britain and many other nations.
It’s an adult approach, sadly lacking in New Zealand.
Opposition from the braln-washed zero risk generations and bureaucracies will not permit it.
Better to do nothing and live off government sinecures and handouts.
I ask the question, why is it that if i have been vaccinated in New Zealand and i travel overseas, then why do i still have to quarantine in an isolation facility for 14 days at a cost of $3000.00 on my return.?
Whats the point in getting vaccinated then ?
Good question. The cynic in me suggests that the best of our epidemiologists have doubts about the efficacy of any of the vaccines.
Or perhaps the epidemiologists are enjoying the attention and don;t want to say, “All over now, don;t bother interviewing me again… and you can cut the funding too.”
The new vaccines to not prevent you getting or spreading the virus.
That was not its design.
Its design was to limit the effect and lower the numbers of hospitalisations and fatalities.
The efficacy is the measurement against those design criteria.
Vaccines don’t eliminate risk of infection they just reduce it by about 95%, so we would likely still get around 5% of current (almost daily) infected arrivees even if all arrivees were vaccinated. That would inevitably spread through our majority unvaccinated populace just as it did pre-lockdown last year. Govt needs to pull finger and get to 70%+ vaccinated to establish herd immunity that can prevent spread. Current plan puts that about 6months from now (about 3-6months behind rest of west, though most countries are topping out around 50-60%).
That also assumes that vaccine resistant strains (now favoured by evolution) don’t appear.
Vaccines aren’t for every strain and aren’t designed to stop a virus dead. Vaccinations give the immune system an opportunity to recognize and (hopefully) neutralise the identiied strain before a person becomes so infected that they die.
However viruses mutate, and quickly too. Hence a new flu jab is required every year.
The mutations are not typically so severe as to become a whole new disease, but continuous small changes may cause a traveller to be either unprotected or a carrier of a strain new to a region.
On this issue…
The Governments efforts for vaccination are woeful. I have recently been back in NZ to visit my elderly parents. Neither of them or ANY of their friends have any idea of when, where or how they can be vaccinated, which is simply a disaster. What are all the Health Ministry people doing?
My suggestions (for what its worth) hand over the booking system to Google and the logistics to the Army.
They could hardly do worse.
Great answer Foyle. Also, if you have get the Indian Covid variant, our vaccine will only reduce the risk of becoming infected by 75%. Our second child arrived with the pill being 98% successful so if a swimmer can get through with a 2% chance, you would be foolhardy to accept a greater risk.
I like your sentiments Sir Robert. However our government are risk averse to the point of paranoia.
Unfortunately they have the majority of the general population on their side. They have scared them to the point of insensibility where they think that any community transmission of COVID will result in instant death. Therefore the general consensus seems to be to keep the borders closed for a very long time – the countries doing OK without tourism, migrant workers, international students. Lunacy!
From what I see there is probably a majority opinion that we shouldn’t have opened our borders to Australia, Cook Islands – too much risk!! Try and explain that there is near absolute risk and your argument falls on very deaf airs.
I flew to Australia yesterday – the flight was quarter full. I expected it to be jam packed. The govts scare tactics at work I would suggest.
I reminded of the “Ballad of a Thin Man”…
If Jacinda keeps the borders closed until after the next election, I suspect that she will win a massive landslide!
If anyone in the media asks her why she is continuing Fortress NZ policies, she can simply:
1. Pull the famous sad frowny face.
2. Fear monger about the spread of the legendary black fungus.
3. Announce further wedding plans to the goober guy.
Who needs pesky open borders anyway?
We have our own insular socialist paradise. Hugs all around! Hooray!
Our population will eventually receive their vaccination just in time for a new strain render the treatment out of date.
Efficient government , efficient health authority !
Further to an earlier comment.
2 other considerations.
A huge part of the tourism “industry” (personally I don’t think Tourism is an industry-its what you get when you don’t have industry) was package deals out of Asia-who would want to be part of that at the moment? Certificates wouldn’t be trustworthy & evenvaccines may well have been faked.
Finally-the world seems to be heading toward a war over Taiwan. Not the ideal time for Tourists from Asia etc.