‘We’re all nervous’: NZ’s Covid tsar Chris Hipkins admits uncertainty over border reopening
The minister responsible for New Zealand’s pandemic response says the future is ‘still something that’s the subject of models rather than reality’
In the midst of an Omicron outbreak and almost two years after New Zealand shut its borders, the government has announced its latest reopening plan. For most New Zealanders, the coming months will be their first direct experience of widespread Covid-19. No one, not even the minister in charge, knows what exactly will come next.
“I think we’re all nervous about what the next few months has in store for New Zealand,” Chris Hipkins, the minister responsible for the country’s pandemic response, told the Guardian. “Covid-19, and Omicron in particular, is here now – it is in New Zealand and it will spread. We know that is going to happen. The extent of that, the effectiveness of our public health measures, the effect on our health system and on our most vulnerable populations is still something that’s the subject of models rather than reality.”