June 24, 2020
No sympathy for quarantine quibblers
Foreign Minister Winston Peters says he's disappointed at how some of the New Zealanders returning from overseas are treating the quarantine process.
The Government has been under fire since two women tested positive for COVID-19 after being allowed to leave isolation for a family bereavement without being tested.
Border controls have now been tightened, with health screening for everyone upon arrival and testing three days later, when people are more likely to test positive for the virus if they have it.
Mr Peters says while the Government feels let down that protocols weren't followed in some cases, there is also an obligation on travellers to ensure they don't put others at risk.
"There's some who are coming here and they know what they were told to do and asked to do and they have been whinging and complaining about it. It's like someone who was picked up by a lifeboat and complaining about being wet. It's not good enough when so many New Zealanders have done so much to create a sanctuary that is medically and health wise safe to come back to. That is why they are coming back," he says.
Winston Peters says New Zealand First believes it's time to start charging people some of the costs of managed isolation, perhaps through a loan.
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