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National Party Leader Judith Collins welcomed announcements made by the Government on downgrading Lockdown Alert Level settings.
“Given the Government’s confidence that this outbreak is under control, National sees no good reason why Auckland can’t shift to Level 2 on Saturday and the rest of the country shift to Level 1,” said Ms Collins.
“I’d like to thank Aucklanders for their sacrifice to keep the whole country safe from Covid-19, particularly all the public health workers who performed thousands of Covid-19 tests and other critical tasks, as well as everyone who came forward to get tested.”
Business owners, employees, have deserved a special mention by the Leader for putting their livelihoods and operations on pause following prior lockdowns and the most recent one.
The latest outbreak has further unfolded the edges on the rough side of the Government’s COVID-19 response. A weakness is Contact Tracing, according to the Leader.
“Contact tracing still isn’t the ‘gold standard’ that the Government would have us think it is. Letting numerous calls and texts to close contacts go unanswered, and not knocking on doors, isn’t good enough,” said Ms Collins.
“These lockdowns are costing the economy half a billion dollars each week. It’s the reason this yo-yo-ing in and out of lockdown must be avoided.”
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Finance Minister Grant Robertson were asked by Journalist Tova O’Brien the ‘hard questions’ on economic and financial establishments out of a maximum $500m wage subsidy scheme.
“The Government should consider the safeguards in National’s five-point plan for managing community cases, particularly rapid antigen testing – nasal swab tests that return results in 15 minutes – and increased monitoring of people in self-isolation, including spot checks,” said Ms Collins.
“Jacinda Ardern should also reconsider National’s proposal to pay 100 per cent of a person’s wages and salary for two weeks if they are ordered to self-isolate. This will incentivise people to stay home and save lives. It is the right thing to do; it’s the kind thing to do.”
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