Events have overtaken state plans for limited numbers of international students to return. With NSW dropping quarantine for fully vaccinated arrivals, flight capacity is the final obstacle.
Our buildings and cities were not designed to handle a pandemic. But countries around the world are coming up with design ideas, some high-tech and some more basic, to reduce the infection risks.
With quarantine infection numbers and border failures likely to keep increasing, the case for stricter travel restrictions is clear.
The right to return is real but not absolute, and must be balanced with the rights of those already in New Zealand.
Despite the latest tweaks to border testing rules, the risk of imported infection remains very high. NZ’s wider response needs upgrading —including reducing the large numbers of infected returnees.
Australia has student accommodation with nearly 100,000 beds, many now empty. The large purpose-built student housing facilities are well suited for quarantining returning international students.
The first batch of returning international students are due to fly in this weekend, but Australia has a lot of work to do to maintain its pre-COVID share of the global education market.
With six COVID-19 incursions in three months, New Zealand needs to change its approach to border control to reduce the risk of quarantine staff catching the virus from travellers.
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.
Economics tells us that governments privatising services where quality counts is a bad idea.
Our new modelling shows the risk of an infectious person slipping through New Zealand’s border undetected is very low — likely to happen only once over the next 18 months.
The spread of the virus through households creates costs higher than for isolation in hotels when families are large and living at close quarters as in Melbourne’s public housing towers.
Two new cases of COVID-19 have been announced in New Zealand, after 23 consecutive days with no new cases. But that doesn’t mean that the country’s elimination efforts have failed.