Ardern says Govt already using Key's 'reasonable' Covid response ideas

Source: 1News

Jacinda Ardern says the Government has already used Sir John Key's "reasonable" Covid-19 response ideas, after the former prime minister and National leader released a five-point plan at the weekend.

Key's ideas included incentives for vaccines and sharing a date when the borders would reopen.

"Where I thought they were reasonable (ideas), actually, things that we were already doing," Ardern told Breakfast this morning.

"On border reopening, back in July we were talking about our plan to change up the borders. So we've said from the beginning of 2022 we expect there to be variation, we've already said we're running our self-isolation pilot, which will be before the end of this year, that it's our intention over time to shorten the amount of time people are required to be in quarantine, to move to a framework where basically what happens to you at the border depends on where you've been visiting from.

"So we've already laid out that plan and that still remains in place."

Ardern also said Key's suggestion of vaccination incentives was also already being used by providers on the ground.

"They're using them where they know the communities well, employers are using them and we continue to encourage that to be done.

"That kind of innovation, it's our job to create the space for those who are rolling out the vaccine programme with us to be able to innovate in a way that they know is going to work for their community."

Ardern said the Government had relied on a range of advice and ideas to form it's overall Covid-19 response, though.

"There are lots and lots of ideas out there that have been shared throughout the Covid response," she said.

"I think what's been key to New Zealand's successful response is that we have drawn from experts, from those who work in public health and those with experience in infectious diseases and from what we've seen overseas.

"I think if you look overseas right now, and there's a lot for us to learn there, those countries who may have moved very, very quickly in deescalating, some of their tools have then put them back in place.

"We've always, I think, learned from others and implemented what they've seen in what we've done and that's why we've had some of the lowest case numbers in the OECD, death rates, and had our economy back in a spot at pre-Covid levels faster than most others. I'm proud of our team's response and those same approaches we're going to keep using."

Key released a five-point plan to improve New Zealand's pandemic response.