The New Zealand government is walking back on its border reopening strategy after dealing with a delta variant outbreak.
The Government had tentatively planned to reopen in early 2022, with a system that ranked countries according to vaccination and virus rates. However, minister Chris Hipkins told parliament on Tuesday that the plan would have to be completely reworked after an outbreak of the highly contagious delta variant.
Mr Hipkins said: “We were looking at a situation where you could stratify countries based on risk, and I think in the delta environment, we actually have to consider whether, in fact, that’s an appropriate thing to do, recognising that all countries, all people coming into the country at this point, have a degree of risk associated with them.
“Obviously, at the moment, the focus is on responding to the current outbreak, but I think we will have to look again at some of that thinking around particularly the country-risk profiling, because I think Delta has changed the game,” he added.