Progress in Push for Rapid Antigen Testing
It’s encouraging that the Government’s intends to allow rapid antigen testing – a move which could save jobs, businesses and attendance at weddings and places of worship.
A nationwide poll has found significant support from New Zealanders for regular testing to be allowed as an option so that kiwis can keep their jobs. While half (50%) of respondents supported an employer being able to sack unvaccinated staff members, 58% of respondents also supported unvaccinated employees being able to keep their jobs if they agreed to have a weekly Covid-19 test. Just 27% were opposed.
Previously the government had all but banned the use of rapid antigen testing under the COVID-19 Public Health Response (Point-of-care Tests) Order 2021.
The petition “Don’t Divide Us” has now reached 75,000+ signatures. The petition says “We oppose the ‘no jab no job’ policy, which will create a divided New Zealand. We call on the Government to allow the use of COVID rapid antigen testing as an alternative for unvaccinated kiwis to access workplaces, schools, maraes, large gatherings, and places of worship.”
“We’ve received hundreds of messages from distraught kiwis losing their jobs. Some of the careers being lost include truck drivers, drainlayers, arborists, tennis coaches, scrap yard workers, university students, courier drivers, apprentices, bus drivers, construction workers, volunteer firefighters, office administrators, after-hours cleaners, fruit pickers, grounds maintenance workers, gardeners, volunteer driving instructors, road maintenance workers, after-hours security guards, student farm-workers, fitness instructors, and many more,” says Bob McCoskrie.
Both National and ACT have called for the option of rapid testing, and Te Pāti Māori says it would abolish Government vaccine mandates. Air New Zealand will require customers travelling domestically to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 OR test negative before flying.
We’re calling on the Government to allow the use of COVID rapid antigen testing as an alternative for unvaccinated kiwis.
A divided society with a ‘no jab no job’ mandate does not sit well with many New Zealanders – even those who support the vaccine programme. Unfortunately, under the current proposal by the Government, thousands and thousands of kiwis are losing their jobs. It’s just not the kiwi way.
“In fact, with our new understanding of the waning immunity of the vaccine, we believe testing and isolation is an important component for all New Zealanders moving forward. It’s much fairer – and doesn’t divide us.”