Government unable to confirm freedoms by Christmas

The AM Show 19/10/2021

WATCH: Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show this morning there is a chance that Aucklanders will be able to travel outside of Auckland come Christmas, but can not yet confirm. More will be announced on Friday.

This news comes after announcing yesterday that there will be a more detailed and specific plan revealed on Friday about what Kiwis can expect regarding our re opening out of lockdowns. A plan that New Zealanders have been asking for for months now.

Th magic number so far has been 90% vaccination across Auckland to start reopening, though this may change. With that being said, Dr Ashley Bloomfield said on Monday that he feels confident Auckland can crack those 90% numbers.

"It's great news for businesses and it's great news for Aucklanders, because we all want to be able to enjoy those freedoms we like to enjoy for summer and for Christmas… It's great progress and I'm going to be excited later in the week - let's hope sooner rather than later when Auckland does hit that 90 percent first dose vaccination figure," he told The AM Show. 

Jacinda Ardern this morning said that though there is no confirmation that we will have our freedoms back by Christmas, it is "too soon" to rule out Aucklanders being able to cross the border for the Christmas holidays.

"At the moment we've got some people who are able to move, and they're doing that on the basis of having that special accreditation to move because it's for essential [purposes]... but what we want to recognise is there's a whole bunch of other reasons that are totally valid, particularly as we come up to Christmas - families wanting to be reunited," she told The AM Show.

"So it's how do we balance that need, with the desire of the rest of the country to be safe from COVID during an outbreak. We're doing some work on that at the moment to see if we can balance those two really important needs and interests.

"So no, it would be too soon for me to say at this point, to rule that out, because we're working hard on that."

Ardern acknowledged that vaccine certificates would likely play an important role if permitted movement was broadened, to ensure those traveling throughout the country are double-jabbed.   

"Those are the kind of options we're looking into, but of course keep in mind, it is possible - while it reduces the chances - it's possible to be vaccinated and have COVID-19, so [vaccine certificates] alone wouldn't necessarily be sufficient," Ardern said.

"So we are doing some thinking in this space and thinking also about how to make it work in a way that wouldn't cause massive congestion at your borders as well. It's not an easy solution but we are thinking hard about how we can make it work… we know that for many people the target for them will be around Christmas time, so we want to try and give some certainty as quickly as we can."

Mark Richardson after the interview shared feelings of concern surrounding whether we are setting ourselves up to try and shoot for unrealistic targets in the hopes to be number one in the world at low deaths and high vax numbers - at the cost of the overall wellbeing of the country. Do you get this feeling too?

Catch The AM Show every weekday from 6am on Magic Talk & THREE.