Goff: Border Announcement Provides Welcome Certainty For Aucklanders
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has strongly welcomed the government’s announcement that Aucklanders will be able to travel outside of the city from Wednesday 15 December.
“For Aucklanders who have lived under tough restrictions for over three months, the ability to reconnect with family and friends, conduct normal business across the country, and travel for their summer holidays, this is great news.
“It provides a further incentive for those Aucklanders not yet vaccinated to do so. For those that don’t, they will require a test within 72 hours of travel to show they are COVID-19 free. These measures provide an additional element of protection for those outside Auckland to slow the spread of the virus.
“Creating a hard border for Auckland with checkpoints to ensure only those who are COVID-free or vaccinated are moving out of the city is not practicable. On Boxing Day tens of thousands of people will travel outside of the city. Spot checks and $1,000 penalties will provide an incentive for people to comply with the rules.
“Aucklanders have managed to suppress COVID-19 spreading across New Zealand, allowing for vaccination rates to climb. As we near 90 per cent national vaccination, it is time to ease those restrictions. The country cannot have a third of its population locked down long-term.
“Opening up the boundaries reinforces the need for those around the country to get vaccinated if they haven’t already done so. Those who are not vaccinated have a month to get both doses before the boundaries are lifted.
“I also welcome the transition to the COVID-19 Protection Framework, likely by early December. This again rewards those who have made the decision to get vaccinated with greater freedoms. Vaccination lowers transmission rates and lowers the risk of people being seriously ill and needing to be hospitalised.
“Like the rest of the world, we now have to live with COVID. The government’s announcement gives us the certainty of a path back to being able to live more normally. At the same time, it helps ensure this transition will happen as safely as possible,” Mayor Goff said.