WATCH: Dr Ashley Bloomfield confirmed this morning on The AM Show that 6 weeks out from Christmas, the government has not asked the Director General of Health advice on how to manage the Auckland border if / when people can not leave without proof of vaccination and a negative test.
Members from the government including Hipkins and the Prime Minister herself have said in interviews with the media that they are brainstorming different ways Aucklanders might be able to cross the border this Christmas. One of which includes checking vaccination status and proof of a negative test at the border. Hipkins suggested they are considering designated time slots for those who wish to leave the city to avoid queues forming at the checkpoints.
This morning on The AM Show, Dr Ashley Bloomfield told us that there hasn't been any consultation on managing the border asked of him.
"We'd all like the boundary around Auckland not to be there at Christmas. The way to get there is to get those high vaccination rates across the motu," he said.
"If there is still a boundary at Christmas, there will obviously be a desire for Aucklanders to move out of Auckland and others to move in to see their whānau and friends. The question is how that can be done safely. No decisions have been taken on that and we will be giving advice."
When referring to Hipkins' comments on designated times for Aucklanders to be able to leave the city Bloomfield responded "I think there's a range of ways it could be done, " he said. "We haven't given advice on any options at the moment. I think [Hipkins] was floating some ideas."
Bloomfield stated the only advice given by the Ministry of Health was to get up to 90% of the population double dosed with the COVID vaccine.
Confused, AM Show host Ryan Bridge asked if there had been any other advice given regarding the border as Christmas is only several weeks away.
"Christmas is still more than six weeks away, our aim is, of course, that there isn't a boundary in place at Christmas. If there is, [Health] will give advice, as will others - police and other departments, as to how that can be managed safely," Bloomfield said.
"The fact that they haven't even asked you [for advice] yet, I think is going to shock a lot of people this morning. Christmas is six weeks away, that's not that long - have they at least asked you for a suitable date at which we could start leaving?" Bridge pressed.
Bloomfield said the decisions hadn't been made yet, right now the focus is on getting the DHBs to 90% across the board.
"The date that we do know is in place is once all those DHBs in Auckland get to 90 percent, and they're very close to that now," he said.
"Once they're fully vaccinated, 90 percent, then Auckland moves on to the new COVID Protection Framework."
Right now it all hinges on Auckland getting into the traffic light system before Christmas, an possibly the rest of the country too.
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