19 Aug 2020

Covid-19: Judith Collins on border testing, contact tracing

From Morning Report, 7:25 am on 19 August 2020

National Party leader Judith Collins has blasted the government over a lack of testing of front-line border workers.

"This is a massive failure for the government, now we've got a lockdown," she told Morning Report.

Collins had strong words for Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern over the failure, where the government believed border workers were being tested when they in fact were not. 

"You don't as a Prime Minister put out a press release on the 23rd of June saying we're testing all these front-line staff at the border, and then find out, eight weeks later, the public finds out that that was not true."

Collins said the National Party supports mandatory testing for border workers, although it voted against legislation allowing for it as the party had other issues with the bill.

She also criticised the government's Covid Tracer app, saying poor uptake of the app made tracing where the virus was heading harder.

"It's very clear that the app that the government put in place was not sold to the public. It has made it very hard for people to be able to trace where it comes through the border."

Collins said the country cannot keep going into lockdown and there needs to be better visibility on the virus' travels.

"What I believe is that when Covid-19 comes in through the border that we have to have a system in place that immediately can find out where there has gone."