23 Aug 2021

Elimination still possible under Covid-19 Delta - Chris Hipkins

From Checkpoint, 6:10 pm on 23 August 2021

Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins says all possibilities on the table for the South Island if no cases are found by Friday.

"I wouldn't rule anything in or out, we'll make those decisions based on what information we've got on Friday."

He said Alert Level 1 is still possible despite Delta. “We are still pursuing an elimination strategy here, we're still aiming to stamp this outbreak out completely.”

Hipkins said ending use of central city hotels as MIQ facilities cannot be done currently.

“Effectively we would be stopping movements in and out of the country and I don't think we are in a position to be able to do that,” he told Checkpoint.

Health expert Nick Wilson says the facilities are not appropriate for purpose, and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff has asked government to reconsider use of central city hotels.