General Manager of Helloworld New Zealand Chris Hunter is behind the action asking the government to remove mandatory isolation for those vaccinated against Covid-19.
Aside from green-zone flights with Australia and Rarotonga, all travellers into New Zealand must enter 14 days of managed isolation – even if they have been vaccinated. Early evidence suggests vaccination reduces the rate of transmission.
Hunter says, "New Zealand urgently requires a clear plan to get New Zealand businesses moving again and to support the free movement of fully vaccinated people.” He points to Europe, the United States and the UK that have started to allow fully vaccinated travellers more freedom to travel.
"The current impediment to New Zealand business and our economic recovery is the lack of clarity regarding a clear policy for fully vaccinated travellers and New Zealand's mandatory requirement for managed isolation and quarantine."
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said this week the stringent border controls forcing most international arrivals into managed isolation won't be the country's "forever scenario".
"We will not always have a scenario where every single person entering New Zealand will go into 14 days of managed isolation, the question is when does that lift and what is it replaced by," Ardern told TVNZ's Breakfast on Monday.
A group of public health experts, led by University of Otago epidemiologist Professor David Skegg, have been looking at future borders measures and how they would work with the country's vaccination programme. Ardern told reporters on Monday she's received a "first cut" of that advice and Cabinet had asked several questions. Ardern plans to share that advice over the next month.
The petition says major countries are making it easier for vaccinated travellers, but accuses our government of having no clear plan. "The New Zealand Government does not have a policy and may well be planning to operate contrary to international convention and may continue to restrict the recovery of NZ businesses and the free movement of its citizens."
Australia's Prime Minister has unveiled a four-step plan to open Australia's border, which involves a trial of home quarantine for vaccinated Australians.
Canada has also made the first step in reopening its border, allowing vaccinated Canadians and permanent residents to skip 14-day quarantine when entering the country. Ardern said last week she is watching these developments closely.
Hunter ends the petition by saying "New Zealand businesses require confirmation from the New Zealand Government that people who are fully vaccinated no longer require self-quarantine and/or managed isolation after arriving back in New Zealand."
As of Tuesday morning, the petition has more than 250 signatures.