Auckland border could open if Govt 'stopped sitting on their hands' - Collins

Source: 1News

National Party leader Judith Collins says Auckland's Covid-19 border restrictions could be ended if the Government "stopped sitting on their hands".

Auckland has been in lockdown, either Alert Level 4 or Level 3, since 11.59pm on August 17 - the day the first case in this Delta outbreak tested positive.

But if New Zealand was governed by National, Collins told Q+A that would be lifted by December 1.

"As long as they get the rapid antigen testing in and as long as they get the ICU beds ready, they need to get that done," she said.

"But as I've said before we're not the Government, we've given them the plan, they've now adopted quite a lot of our plan, but there's still a few more things for them to do - get those thing ready, we should be ready for 1st of December if they really stop sitting on their hands and get it going."

Collins said if vaccination rates of 85 to 90 per cent are achieved, there is no reason why Aucklanders shouldn't be allowed to leave the city - even unvaccinated Aucklanders.

"We've said we should be able to operate like that, but again, rapid antigen testing so that people can test themselves and get a result in 15 minutes, that's the sort of thing that should be available.

"You can do it now in Australia, you can go and buy them at the supermarket, should be able to do it here. For some reason in this country the Government has not planned for this.

"If I was prime minister, in two weeks time I would already have had these things in place ... I'm not the prime minister, it's not me that's failed the country."

Collins admitted, though, that if Auckland did scrap those border restrictions there would "no doubt" be more Covid-19 cases.

However, when pressed by Jack Tame on how many daily cases we'd expect to see a month after opening the Auckland border Collins struggled to give a number.

"I think we'd expect at least 200 for a while but we'd also expect a spike, we'd expect that to come up," she said.

When asked what the spike would be she said: "I can't tell you exactly what it's going to be but I can tell you that we would expect a spike and we would expect it to come down again as we have seen overseas.

"We do not believe there would be 7000 cases a day, which is what (Covid-19 modeller) Shaun Hendy is saying. We believe that it'll go up by a few hundred and that it'll come down again once we get, it is absolutely important we get everyone double vaccinated that we can, and that we are testing on a constant basis."