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We need a plan to open our borders - Auckland Business Chamber

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

While we’re growing in confidence that we are in the enviable position of basically eliminating Covid-19, our trading nation at the bottom of the world is also in the unenviable position of locking off our economy to the world.

"No is not an answer to the pressing issue of not when, but how, we open our borders to be part of the world again and take advantage of our status of managing and containing this contagion," says Auckland Business Chamber CEO, Michael Barnett. "Just saying no gives no clue as to what the acceptable environment and constraints would be to open up our country safely. We’ll be left behind when we should have first mover advantage."

"We are losing hundreds of millions of dollars a day, thousands of jobs and eliminating our ability to progress from survival to building a resilient and sustainable future in the new normal where totally eliminating the contagion is unrealistic and simply not backed by science."

"We need a plan, we need it now and we need to know what we have to do if we are going to welcome in the outside world as other countries in far worse shape than us are already doing. Are we going to have Covid passports, use mandatory new track and trace devices, impose new shorter quarantine or isolation regimes for low risk visitors, or push the boundaries and open in a phased way with a list of good to come and good to go to countries first?"

"We need to get moving - safely and surely, using science and diplomacy and common sense to open up for business, students and travel," Mr. Barnett said. "We want to develop a strategy that fits with international best practice and progressive opening up of borders and economies and get New Zealand fit for life."

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