Ardern: Mandates will end on public health advice, not protests – 1News

Ardern: Mandates will end on public health advice, not protests – 1News

With New Zealand’s daily Covid-19 case numbers now in the thousands, Jacinda Ardern says now isn’t the time to be ending mandates at the behest of protesters, or “letting down our guard”.

There were 3297 Covid-19 community cases announced in the country on Wednesday, the highest daily tally yet.

Anti-mandate protests outside Parliament are into their 17th day, with some involved calling for the immediate end to all mandates.

The Prime Minister on Thursday reiterated her message to protesters when speaking to media in Christchurch, that restrictions would ease when it was safe to do so.

“It will be based on public health advice – not protest activity,” Ardern said.

“The most important point is, I don’t think you hear any public health expert say that now – when we’re in the middle of thousands of cases a day – is the time to let down our guard.”

Ardern said it could be another three to six weeks before case numbers hit their peak, and restrictions would only begin to ease off “well clear of that” time.

Overseas, many countries plateaued before daily Covid cases began to decrease.

Ardern said that was one of the reasons an exact date to end mandates hadn’t been given.

She also pointed to the 75 per cent of New Zealanders that had agreed with the level of Covid-19 protections in surveys.

"So that is giving a very strong sense of where the majority of New Zealanders sit on the management of the pandemic and I think they would be extraordinarily disappointed if the Government was swayed by a much smaller minority who happen to be behaviour illegally on the forecourt of Parliament."
© TVNZ 2022

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