Although most border workers are now vaccinated, regular testing remains essential to guard against the risk of a major outbreak in the community.
Even with the highest possible rates of vaccination, New Zealand will need to keep up public health measures, or consider letting go of the concept of elimination and focus instead on disease control.
The first year of dealing with the pandemic has taught New Zealand many lessons — including how we might tackle systemic social and environmental problems.
The highly infectious nature of the COVID-19 variant, and the fact the infections have no clear link to the border, leaves the worrying possibility of a more widespread community outbreak.
Closing borders is a popular policy in the UK, but it brings limited effectiveness at great human cost.
A new study argues for selective border relaxations. But with COVID-19 more prevalent now than at almost any point in the past, the risk would be substantial.
Multiple borders have always existed in Aotearoa New Zealand. We just weren’t as aware of them before the pandemic started locking down communities.
With quarantine infection numbers and border failures likely to keep increasing, the case for stricter travel restrictions is clear.
A variant with a higher transmission rate is much more dangerous than one with just a higher fatality rate.
New Zealand’s most pressing challenge is to bring the current COVID-19 outbreak under control, but it also time to make more strategic improvements to prevent future border control failures.
Biometric data is being used to target those deemed unwanted aliens.
Border restrictions and quarantine have kept COVID-19 out of New Zealand, but new modelling shows contact tracing and quick isolation would control an outbreak, without the need for another lockdown.
With the cost of quarantine sure to rise, the government should look at a fair system based on returning New Zealanders’ ability to pay.
Multiple failures to properly enforce border quarantine measures should never have happened, given the strength of New Zealand’s emergency laws.
Victoria and NSW have demonstrated that a severe and relatively short shutdown is still possible.
Tourism is vital to NZ and small economies in the Pacific. But as the Samoa Tourism Authority’s CEO says, “we can always get money back, but once there’s a loss of life you’ll never have that back”.
Forget Halloween masks: these things let you become a whole new person.
A community driven approach to border patrol could be more useful than providing arms for border guards
Using the military continuously in internal roles for which it is not structured, funded or trained simply speeds up its decline.
President Trump proposes to send the National Guard to protect the southern US border. Instead of searching for your old civics textbook, here’s a pocket history of the soldiers in the spotlight.