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  • Vaccination rollout will speed up, with all eligible ages able to book in their vaccine by 1 September
  • Move to 6 weeks between doses to ensure more NZers at least partially vaccinated as soon as possible in face of Delta risk
  • Phased approach to reopening border with self-isolation pilot this year and set up of new testing and vaccine checking systems at border
  • From the first quarter of 2022 move to new individual risk based border settings that will establish low, medium and high risk pathways into the country
  • Elimination retained as best strategy to keep COVID out and economy open

The Government will use the second half of 2021 to vaccinate as many New Zealanders as possible and safely conduct a self-isolation trial for vaccinated New Zealanders in order to prepare for a phased resumption of quarantine-free travel, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

The Government’s framework for re-opening borders and moving to an individualised risk-based model for quarantine-free travel was unveiled at a forum on Reconnecting New Zealanders to the World in Wellington today. The release of the plan followed the publication of Sir David Skegg’s Strategic COVID-19 Public Health Advisory Group’s advice to Government on Wednesday.

“Getting vaccinated is the number one thing everyone can do to be protected against COVID-19, help accelerate our economic recovery, reduce the risk of lockdowns, and safely allow New Zealand’s borders to begin re-opening next year,” Jacinda Ardern said.

“The plan announced today is informed by the best available scientific evidence and public health advice. It will allow us to capture the opportunities vaccination brings, while protecting the gains New Zealanders have worked so hard for.

“Key to this is maintaining our Elimination Strategy. The advice is clear: If we open our borders now we will lose the freedoms and advantages we have achieved so far.

“If we give up our elimination approach too soon there is no going back, and we could see significant breakouts here like some countries overseas are experiencing who have opened up early in their vaccination rollout.

“Therefore the first step in our plan is speeding up the vaccination process to ensure everyone is at least partially vaccinated as soon as possible to reduce the risk and impact of Delta entering the country.

ENDS

Posted in media release, Covid-19;

covid-19

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