'Slack border management': Govt slammed for allowing person to travel with COVID

Leah Panapa 28/10/2021

LISTEN: Border management is being slammed after two positive COVID-19 cases emerged in Christchurch.

The pair were unvaccinated - one flew in from Auckland, which is a Delta hotspot, and didn't use the COVID Tracer App to monitor their movements.

Christchurch councillor Yani Johanson told Magic Talk this outbreak shows why the South Island should have been shut off.

"I'm one of those people that believe we should have had a hard border with the South Island from the North Island," he said.

"It would seem a very sensible thing to do."

Johanson said it's "unfathomable" to think a person infected with COVID-19 and is unvaccinated can travel from Auckland and not use the QR tracing system.

COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said the person was given an exemption to travel. He says they originally tested negative.

Meanwhile, Auckland University medical professor Des Gorman says the spread of the Delta variant was inevitable, but allowing the person to travel from Auckland was unacceptable.

"That really is quite slack border management," he told Magic Talk.

"The people in Christchurch, if they get put into a snap lockdown, now have reason to feel somewhat aggrieved by the complacency of the officials by allowing these people to travel."

Gorman says he would put Christchurch into a lockdown.

"The fact that this person has been out and about in the community for a week I think a two or three day lockdown to give you the ability to close down would make far more sense than just praying it doesn't get out," he told Magic Talk.

The government is expected to announce more at Thursday's 1pm briefing.

Listen to the full interview with Des Gorman above.

Magic Talk | Mornings with Leah Panapa, weekdays from 9am.

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