April 25, 2022 Share
Originally published as a column in Whats on Invers
There’s no doubt that the past couple of years have been tough for Southlanders.
From postponed weddings, to funerals where the numbers were limited, cancelled school and community events and business owners under financial pressure.
Local people have done the right thing for a long time – but I now believe it’s time to return to normality.
I would like to see the Government immediately drop all scanning requirements for businesses, scrap vaccine passes for all but large indoor events, get rid of all vaccine mandates for young people aged under-18 and move to a five-day isolation period.
As we come through the peak of Omicron, it’s time to phase out restrictions and allow people to get back to normal.
This is particularly important for local businesses, who have often borne the brunt of restrictions.
The public health rationale for vaccine passes just isn’t there anymore, the time has passed and they are now putting unjustified limits on people’s rights.
The mandates have created a real sense of division in New Zealand.
Many unvaccinated people have been excluded from society – 13-year-olds who can’t play rugby with their mates, people who have lost jobs, and people unable to go out to dinner with friends.
The Government’s instinct should be to remove restrictions on normal life as soon as they’re no longer justified. Of course, if the risk changes, we can put the Framework back in place.
Isolation periods for people who get Covid-19, and their household contacts, will still be important to limit spread, as well as rapid antigen tests which National has campaigned on for months.
Mask-wearing will also remain important indoors, but overall we need to send the message that life is returning to normal.