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What is the Covid-19 Exit Strategy of 'Zero Covid' countries such as Australia and New Zealand?

Cdd89

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I said "more or less".
They may be able to convince themselves that they are “more or less” normal, but that is an insular conclusion, and the more normal the rest of the world becomes, the less normal their own becomes.

Consider a hypothetical: suppose I, and 40 friends, form a pact never to interact with anyone outside the group. We would work remotely, travel to see each other by private transport, and quarantine anyone who interacted outside the group. Within the group we could do whatever we wanted.

In a “rest of society in Lockdown” scenario, that may be desirable. But as society exits lockdown, the hardship of this insular arrangement would take its toll as the opportunity cost of maintaining it becomes too great. I suspect the group would rapidly begin to dwindle from 40.

National Zero Covid policies are just this, but on a bigger scale. The opportunity cost is less because it covers a physical area with all its interactions. But as the rest of the world resume normality, that opportunity cost increases. It can only be maintained by a cult-like insistence that the virus be kept out at all costs, often with exaggeration about its effects even as vaccines objectively massively reduce its impact. Also, unlike my “group” hypothetical above, people can’t trivially leave it; the only way to leave is to physically move, and it's not easy for many to relocate internationally.

The opportunity cost of a state-by-state Zero-Covid policy is far higher than that of a whole country Covid policy. Only a minority travel internationally, but domestic travel is far more common. More people are therefore missing out, and more people have social ties that they are giving up on. For someone who doesn't have ties outside their state, they may view things as "more" normal. For someone who does, many will view things as "not at all" normal. I would guess that 25%(?) are very seriously affected. "More or less" is a huge simplification and ignores the "random lottery" of hardship in maintaining restrictions that make inter-state travel impractical for most, and impossible for many.
 
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VauxhallandI

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They may be able to convince themselves that they are “more or less” normal, but that is an insular conclusion, and the more normal the rest of the world becomes, the less normal their own becomes.

Consider a hypothetical: suppose I, and 40 friends, form a pact never to interact with anyone outside the group. We would work remotely, travel to see each other by private transport, and quarantine anyone who interacted outside the group. Within the group we could do whatever we wanted.

In a “rest of society in Lockdown” scenario, that may be desirable. But as society exits lockdown, the hardship of this insular arrangement would take its toll as the opportunity cost of maintaining it becomes too great. I suspect the group would rapidly begin to dwindle from 40.

National Zero Covid policies are just this, but on a bigger scale. The opportunity cost is less because it covers a physical area with all its interactions. But as the rest of the world resume normality, that opportunity cost increases. It can only be maintained by a cult-like insistence that the virus be kept out at all costs, often with exaggeration about its effects even as vaccines objectively massively reduce its impact. Also, unlike my “group” hypothetical above, people can’t trivially leave it; the only way to leave is to physically move, and it's not easy for many to relocate internationally.

The opportunity cost of a state-by-state Zero-Covid policy is far higher than that of a whole country Covid policy. Only a minority travel internationally, but domestic travel is far more common. More people are therefore missing out, and more people have social ties that they are giving up on. For someone who doesn't have ties outside their state, they may view things as "more" normal. For someone who does, many will view things as "not at all" normal. I would guess that 25%(?) are very seriously affected. "More or less" is a huge simplification and ignores the "random lottery" of hardship in maintaining restrictions that make inter-state travel impractical for most, and impossible for many.
Good articulation. Maybe some might see how from normal this has been for many.
 

MikeWM

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Err, yes. The 1968 Hong Kong flu pandemic which killed 1-4 million people, when the worlds population was half what it is now. It is a minor footnote in history with no comparable response of any sort relative to Covid.

Or indeed the 1957-8 pandemic, which had a similar (probably slightly worse effect).

Spend 5 minutes searching Hansard for any mention of either of these - you won't find much. Or look at any political diaries from the time, and they don't even warrant a single mention.

Incidentally the same applies for the Spanish flu, which unlike Covid, was an actual serious pandemic that cut short very many young lives and dropped life expectancy more dramatically than pretty much any other event of the last 200 years (including both world wars). Try finding any mention of that in Hansard in 1919; there's a few oral questions and a few written questions and that's about it.

Until recently a pandemic wasn't a political issue in the way that, unfortunately, the current one has been. People just got on with stuff and hoped they wouldn't be unlucky.
 

VauxhallandI

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Or indeed the 1957-8 pandemic, which had a similar (probably slightly worse effect).

Spend 5 minutes searching Hansard for any mention of either of these - you won't find much. Or look at any political diaries from the time, and they don't even warrant a single mention.

Incidentally the same applies for the Spanish flu, which unlike Covid, was an actual serious pandemic that cut short very many young lives and dropped life expectancy more dramatically than pretty much any other event of the last 200 years (including both world wars). Try finding any mention of that in Hansard in 1919; there's a few oral questions and a few written questions and that's about it.

Until recently a pandemic wasn't a political issue in the way that, unfortunately, the current one has been. People just got on with stuff and hoped they wouldn't be unlucky.
As little as 15 years ago the last 18 months wouldn’t have panned out the way it had.

No technology to work at home and no social media. Problem solved.
 

MikeWM

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As little as 15 years ago the last 18 months wouldn’t have panned out the way it had.

No technology to work at home and no social media. Problem solved.

Nevertheless the politicians are (mostly) to blame. They're supposed to lead, not pander and cower.

Whatever our opinions on the matter, Johnson managed to overcome massive political and media opposition and 'deliver' Brexit. He could have done the same with Covid, and treated it in the way we have traditionally approached pandemics (as indeed appeared to be the plan as late as 12th March 2020). So could any of the other major leaders of the world - but the fact is that none did so. Why that is the case is something we can each draw our own conclusions on, but whatever the reason, it reflects very poorly on all of them.
 

Ediswan

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Incidentally the same applies for the Spanish flu, which unlike Covid, was an actual serious pandemic that cut short very many young lives and dropped life expectancy more dramatically than pretty much any other event of the last 200 years (including both world wars). Try finding any mention of that in Hansard in 1919; there's a few oral questions and a few written questions and that's about it.
I had a whole collection of great aunts and uncles who were young when Spanish Flu was about. They may have mentioned it, but if so, I don't recall.
 

VauxhallandI

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Nevertheless the politicians are (mostly) to blame. They're supposed to lead, not pander and cower.

Whatever our opinions on the matter, Johnson managed to overcome massive political and media opposition and 'deliver' Brexit. He could have done the same with Covid, and treated it in the way we have traditionally approached pandemics (as indeed appeared to be the plan as late as 12th March 2020). So could any of the other major leaders of the world - but the fact is that none did so. Why that is the case is something we can each draw our own conclusions on, but whatever the reason, it reflects very poorly on all of them.
Isn’t the main difference there though that the media wanted Brexit, I’m not sure it was so cut and dried in the case of where they would fall on the approach to the reaction to Covid?
 

hst43102

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I said "more or less".

In the modern world (let's say post 1945 as an approximation), when has there been a disease that has spread so extensively and fast, and with such loss of life? To judge the response, we also need to judge the context.
- Chinese/Asian flu, 1957 - c.2,000,000 deaths
- Hong Kong flu, 1968 - c.1,000,000
- Russian flu, 1977 - c.700,000
- Swine flu, 2009 - c.250,000
- Influenza, c.25,000-100,000 in the UK, each year

Please note that NONE of these required any draconian measures - and humanity survived them. Obviously still a tragedy for the individual victims, but I don't see any major reason that Covid-19 is any different to any of these.
 

Bantamzen

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I said "more or less".

In the modern world (let's say post 1945 as an approximation), when has there been a disease that has spread so extensively and fast, and with such loss of life? To judge the response, we also need to judge the context.
In the winter of 2017-18 influenza took the lives of over 50K people. Nobody batted an eyelid.
 

AlterEgo

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Such loss of life does need to be qualified with the point that, AIUI, the median age of mortality remains at 82, which is actually above typical median life expectancy age.

The question of how many people died “of Covid”, as opposed to “with Covid”, will be something requiring analysis in any follow-up investigation.
Indeed.

AIDS is the worst and most serious disease there’s been since the end of WWII. It affected mostly active and otherwise healthy people, plus very many babies were born with it.
 

nickw1

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Yes I understand that. My question is what other virus has resulted in a political and policy response on the scale we've seen with Covid? Even at the height of the AIDS panic in the 1980s no government anywhere in the world was closing borders or removing basic liberties from the population.
It is interesting that (as mentioned above) the 1958 and 1968-69 flus appeared to prompt little or no response (the latter is barely mentioned in any history of the 1960s, and certainly didn't stop the Woodstock festival taking place in 1969, to take one particularly well-known example). From what I have seen, while Covid is somewhat worse than these, it is significantly closer (in terms of number of deaths) to the 1958 and 1968 outbreaks than the Spanish flu of 1918.

I will admit to not knowing in detail the differences between Covid and the 1968 flu, so maybe the latter was significantly less dangerous - or could other factors, such as excessive state control of the population being associated with the (then 'enemy') Soviet Union, and thus undesirable? Or was late-sixties society just more libertarian in general? Or the world was just too unstable a place (Cold War, oil crisis) in this era to risk the economic consequences of a lockdown?

I do not know, I was not around in 1968, so just speculating.

It would be interesting to compare the response to foot-and-mouth in 1967 to 2001 to see if societal attitudes of the 1960s versus the 21st century came into play there. The latter resulted in a three-month 'lockdown' of the countryside, with footpath closures even in woodland areas on the edge of cities which did not cross farms (rationale was that you might spread F/M to deer which then might spread it to cattle - ignoring of course that deer often enter gardens on the edge of cities!); did the same happen in 1967?

As little as 15 years ago the last 18 months wouldn’t have panned out the way it had.

No technology to work at home and no social media. Problem solved.

Yes, I do wonder what the response to 'Covid-89' or 'Covid-99' would have been.

Certainly without any home-working or online ordering, the effects of lockdown would have been catastrophic, so much so that I suspect it couldn't have happened. Even in 2000-2001, home internet was not general, and even when people had it, it was slow and expensive dial-up.
 
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APT618S

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Indeed.

AIDS is the worst and most serious disease there’s been since the end of WWII. It affected mostly active and otherwise healthy people, plus very many babies were born with it.
I agree.
36 million total deaths from HIV and in 2020 alone there were 680,000 deaths.
 

John Luxton

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Nevertheless the politicians are (mostly) to blame. They're supposed to lead, not pander and cower.

Whatever our opinions on the matter, Johnson managed to overcome massive political and media opposition and 'deliver' Brexit. He could have done the same with Covid, and treated it in the way we have traditionally approached pandemics (as indeed appeared to be the plan as late as 12th March 2020).
Something clearly went wrong. I went from hailing his victory in the general election to despising him when he bottled it on March 23. After that I vowed to break as many of his (and Mark Drakeford's - I live close to the border) crackpot rules as I could. Surprisingly nothing has happened to me and I presume many others who also realised that politicians should be our servants and not behave like 20th Century European dictators of either the extreme left or right.

Speaking from a person perspective and I presume many other restriction refuseniks would agree this is what I think should have happened in March 2020

  • People told to conduct their own personal risk assessment for their own situations at work or leisure.
  • Masks voluntary for healthy people but highly recommended for those with serious underlying health conditions
  • Masks mandatory if displaying signs of severe cold / flu / covid when out in public. (Anyone who goes out coughing, sneezing, suffling in normal circumstance is anti-social in my book anyway!)
  • Responsibility would be personal and not collective. - No obligation to follow the rules for the benefit of others.
  • Screens in retail business premises.
  • Hand sanitising
  • Certain international travel restrictions might also have been appropriate particularly to Asia.
  • No movement restrictions within the British Isles common travel area thus Ireland / IOM / Channel Islands / Northern Ireland / Scotland / Wales could go off and do their own thing, anything else undermines the concept of the Common Travel Area. The Isle of Man was probably the most draconian in Covid strategies, though I don't think Ireland was far behind.
  • No business restrictions.
I could have quite happily have gone along with that - BUT the one thing I cannot accept is being dictated to and restricted and I think many saw this as the slippery slope. No I am not a conspiracy theorist and I have seen some crazy ideas out there.

But I do think many a government's reactions have been to use Covid as a means of experimenting to see what amount of control the public is prepared to accept, not out of a wish to control people but to pander to the majority of the electorates fears, some of which it must be admitted the UK government certainly exacerbated.

The main problem is to the extent of which the British public has been complicit in allowing this to happen. Covid is just one stage of several which has taken place over the past 100 years or so. I found this video posted by well known journalist Peter Hitchens particularly thought provoking in this respect.

Worth a watch irrespective of which side of the Covid debate one stands:

Peter Hitchens Slow Death of Freedom - Bing
 

MikeWM

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Isn’t the main difference there though that the media wanted Brexit, I’m not sure it was so cut and dried in the case of where they would fall on the approach to the reaction to Covid?

Not all the media wanted Brexit :) but I take your point that perhaps it isn't as simple as I implied.

I do however think, all other things being equal, if Johnson had the skills to properly channel leaders he claims to admire and actually led us properly, much of the media would have supported that (invoking the 'British bulldog spirit',' not doing things that those silly foreigners are doing', and similar nonsense). Of course the Guardian and some others wouldn't have, but that could be ignored. As it is, I imagine a large proportion of what the media is churning out is directly motivated by the fact that the government is currently effectively keeping most of it afloat at all (through advertising).
 

bramling

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Not all the media wanted Brexit :) but I take your point that perhaps it isn't as simple as I implied.

I do however think, all other things being equal, if Johnson had the skills to properly channel leaders he claims to admire and actually led us properly, much of the media would have supported that (invoking the 'British bulldog spirit',' not doing things that those silly foreigners are doing', and similar nonsense). Of course the Guardian and some others wouldn't have, but that could be ignored. As it is, I imagine a large proportion of what the media is churning out is directly motivated by the fact that the government is currently effectively keeping most of it afloat at all (through advertising).

That and that many journalists seem incapable of doing much more than regurgitating official press or news releases. Many seem incapable of doing any basic research or fact checking.

Meanwhile the media seems to love whipping up hysteria, and it isn’t just the usual suspects like the Daily Express doing it.
 

John Luxton

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That and that many journalists seem incapable of doing much more than regurgitating official press or news releases. Many seem incapable of doing any basic research or fact checking.

Meanwhile the media seems to love whipping up hysteria, and it isn’t just the usual suspects like the Daily Express doing it.

I don't think that most journalists can do much other than regurgitate press releases. It first started in the regional press but I think Covid made it more apparent in the national press.

My perception is that Reach plc (Mirror Group) are one of the worst. They run quite a few regional web sites.

Though I live on Merseyside due to interest in happenings in Wales and the West Country I monitor their postings elsewhere.

Similar stories crop across their regional web sites.

Some stories verge on the inciteful / inflammatory - Reach canvass opinions on things such as holiday homes, second homes, peoples' opinions on Covid restriction, the domestic holiday industry etc etc. It is almost as though they want to see people squabbling either on their own web site comment sections and social media rather than producing well researched news items. It is nothing more than shameful.

Looking at the wider picture media failed to present balanced, proper investigation led stories on those who had alternative strategies to Covid which is very worrying just toeing the government line is not journalism. They should be asking questions, investigation looking for opinions from all sides of the argument and certainly not attempting to either side line or even insult those with alternative views.
 

35B

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Indeed.

AIDS is the worst and most serious disease there’s been since the end of WWII. It affected mostly active and otherwise healthy people, plus very many babies were born with it.
The difference being the nature and mode of transmission; the similarity being the refusal of some to accept the nature of the disease or how it can be addressed
The question of how many people died “of Covid”, as opposed to “with Covid”, will be something requiring analysis in any follow-up investigation.
Where the point is repeatedly made that the measures that give rise to "with Covid" suspicions (e.g. deaths within 28 days) are outweighed by the direct causation as documented on death certificates.
 

duncanp

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I see that Saint Jacinda has finally realised what the rest of the world has known for some time,namely that you cannot eliminate COVID and you have to learn to live with it.

She says "....this is a change in approach we were always going to make over time...", but I don't believe her - more likely she has realised that elimination doesn't work.

New Zealand drops elimination plan​

New Zealand has abandoned its strategy of eliminating COVID-19 and eased some lockdown restrictions in its biggest city Auckland.
The country will instead look to live with the virus while controlling its spread.
It was among just a handful of countries to bring cases down to zero last year and largely stayed virus-free until an outbreak of the Delta variant in mid-August frustrated efforts to stamp out transmission.
Jacinda Ardern, the nation's prime minister, said: "With this outbreak and Delta the return to zero is incredibly difficult.
"This is a change in approach we were always going to make over time. Our Delta outbreak has accelerated this transition. Vaccines will support it."
On Monday authorities reported 29 new cases, taking the total number in the current outbreak to 1,357.
Most of the cases are in Auckland, which has been in lockdown for nearly 50 days.
 

Pakenhamtrain

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We're number one! We're number one!*

As of 8:00pm on Sunday, a Victorian who has lived in Melbourne and not left since the beginning of the pandemic will have spent 245 days in lockdown.
It is the longest cumulative lockdown for any city in the world.

Buenos Aires previously held the record, enduring a 234-day lockdown from March 20 to November 11, 2020, and a short 10-day circuit-breaker lockdown from May 21 to May 31 this year.

*At lockdown.
 

yorkie

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I see that Saint Jacinda has finally realised what the rest of the world has known for some time,namely that you cannot eliminate COVID and you have to learn to live with it.

She says "....this is a change in approach we were always going to make over time...", but I don't believe her - more likely she has realised that elimination doesn't work.
That is good news; I suspected it would be impossible to eliminate Sars-CoV-2 from the very early days, and as the weeks and months passed it became increasingly obvious this would be the case. My only surprise is that it has taken them so long to realise this!

It's very satisfying now seeing those who claimed NZ/Aus would be successful in eliminating the virus now have egg on their faces and have been proven to be completely and utterly wrong. I feel thoroughly vindicated.
 

Pakenhamtrain

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That is good news; I suspected it would be impossible to eliminate Sars-CoV-2 from the very early days, and as the weeks and months passed it became increasingly obvious this would be the case. My only surprise is that it has taken them so long to realise this!

It's very satisfying now seeing those who claimed NZ/Aus would be successful in eliminating the virus now have egg on their faces and have been proven to be completely and utterly wrong. I feel thoroughly vindicated.
Strictly speaking we did eliminate it multiple times.
 

duncanp

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It's very satisfying now seeing those who claimed NZ/Aus would be successful in eliminating the virus now have egg on their faces and have been proven to be completely and utterly wrong. I feel thoroughly vindicated.

It also makes it much harder to justify re-introducing lockdowns in the UK and elsewhere in Europe.
 
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That is good news; I suspected it would be impossible to eliminate Sars-CoV-2 from the very early days, and as the weeks and months passed it became increasingly obvious this would be the case. My only surprise is that it has taken them so long to realise this!

It's very satisfying now seeing those who claimed NZ/Aus would be successful in eliminating the virus now have egg on their faces and have been proven to be completely and utterly wrong. I feel thoroughly vindicated.

NZ kept functioning without restrictions with no domestic covid for a very large part of the pandemic, acted sufficiently fast and decisively that when there were outbreaks the damage both in terms of spread of covid and economic inactivity due to lockdowns was kept to a minimum. Outside of the Auckland area went from lockdown to Level 2 restrictions in under 2 weeks of the lockdown being introduced for the Delta variant outbreak.

As an example from the industry we work in, the New Zealand ski areas have lost a couple of weeks of operations over 2 seasons due to restrictions, because of the way the weather and snow panned out in 2020, Scotland effectively had 2 seasons wiped out. The absolute foolishness of Boris' saving Christmas 2020 gimmick set the whole UK back months and contributed to last winter's prolonged restrictions.

There is a lesson from NZ that stamping on outbreaks hard and fast lead to less time in restrictions, the UK on the other hand is proof that dither and delay and waiting until the situation is out of control leads to a much more prolonged restrictions, due to the protracted decay curve from the top of a very high exponential spike.

Of course then there is the vaccine factor, NZ can shift from elimination to 'living with covid' with an increasingly vaccinated population, they managed to hold it bay for the period that mattered. That means NZ can move on from elimination but still avoid the levels of severe illness and hospitalisation, along with the disastrous knock on effects on non - covid healthcare that would have occurred had Covid been allowed to spread in the first 18 months of the pandemic. I'm not sure what you feel vindicated about, nor can I understand how you see NZ's situation as a failure that leaves them with egg on their face?
 

Bantamzen

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NZ kept functioning without restrictions with no domestic covid for a very large part of the pandemic, acted sufficiently fast and decisively that when there were outbreaks the damage both in terms of spread of covid and economic inactivity due to lockdowns was kept to a minimum. Outside of the Auckland area went from lockdown to Level 2 restrictions in under 2 weeks of the lockdown being introduced for the Delta variant outbreak.

As an example from the industry we work in, the New Zealand ski areas have lost a couple of weeks of operations over 2 seasons due to restrictions, because of the way the weather and snow panned out in 2020, Scotland effectively had 2 seasons wiped out. The absolute foolishness of Boris' saving Christmas 2020 gimmick set the whole UK back months and contributed to last winter's prolonged restrictions.

There is a lesson from NZ that stamping on outbreaks hard and fast lead to less time in restrictions, the UK on the other hand is proof that dither and delay and waiting until the situation is out of control leads to a much more prolonged restrictions, due to the protracted decay curve from the top of a very high exponential spike.

Of course then there is the vaccine factor, NZ can shift from elimination to 'living with covid' with an increasingly vaccinated population, they managed to hold it bay for the period that mattered. That means NZ can move on from elimination but still avoid the levels of severe illness and hospitalisation, along with the disastrous knock on effects on non - covid healthcare that would have occurred had Covid been allowed to spread in the first 18 months of the pandemic. I'm not sure what you feel vindicated about, nor can I understand how you see NZ's situation as a failure that leaves them with egg on their face?
New Zealand has lost two years worth of tourism, and is likely to lose many months more. Plus they have also lost a lot of the film industry work, with 14 day hotel quarantines too much for film makers, many of whom are now ironically eyeing up Scotland as an alternative. And they have now had to admit that they could not eliminate the virus, the very driver of their policies in the first place.

I'm going to hazard a guess at this point and say you've not read this thread in it's entirety? Because if you had you would have found out why the NZ model would & could not work here. But trying to keep it as short as possible, NZ is a series of very remote islands in a very remote part of the world. They have no land links to any other country, and so all imports come either from shipping or via air freight. This means that slamming the borders shut is much easier, as contact with shipping & air crews can be kept to a minimum. Whereas lorries coming from Europe into the UK have drivers who do have to come into much more contact with people here.

Before you suggest that the containers be offloaded onto cross-sea transport in Europe and loaded onto UK lorries at the other end, there simply isn't the capacity, especially given that a lot of the imports are time critical. You might also suggest that we become self-contained. But that also isn't possible as we have neither the capacity, nor the manpower to replace something like 40% + of our food imports, not to mention all the other commodities we bring in. It would take decades to ramp that back up, which would lead to a significant reduction in quality of life for many people already suffering from lowered wages or loss of jobs through the pandemic.

There is also another fly in the ointment of the NZ model, the virus was almost certainly here before we even knew about it. I have mentioned this many times before but in the very corner of West Yorkshire where I live, it is widely believed that it was here in mid-December through a businessman returning from Wuhan province. And he most certainly would not have been the only one by any means. You might however say "but what about the variants", well remember the "Alpha / Kent" variant was first detected in, well Kent. So if one can emerge here, so can others. Its all very well pointing to one of the most remote countries in the world and saying that they did better, in reality they were one of the few nations with even a chance of self-isolating. Most of the world however are connected by natural or man made borders, and rely on the movement of goods & people along those connections. I know I said I'd keep this short, and frankly in context of the debate it really is. I'd suggest taking some time out and reading or re-reading the the thread to see other arguments against the NZ model.
 

nickw1

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Furthermore the UK is particularly connected with other countries in Europe in terms of travel and immigration, despite the Conservatives' apparent attempts to severely restrict it.

If we'd adopted a 'complete elimination' strategy in 2020 would we still need to have our borders closed now? (Not saying we definitely would, just raising a question).

And given Covid's probably not going to disappear from the continent any time soon, how long would we need to keep our borders closed into the future?

I would agree that given NZ's isolated geographical location, and presumably lack of travel to other countries even normally, it can 'get away' with closing borders for much longer than somewhere like the UK. There is presumably quite a lot of travel to Australia, but I think (?) Aus<->NZ travel was/is not restricted?
 
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Pakenhamtrain

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Furthermore the UK is particularly connected with other countries in Europe in terms of travel and immigration, despite the Conservatives' apparent attempts to severely restrict it.

If we'd adopted a 'complete elimination' strategy in 2020 would we still need to have our borders closed now? (Not saying we definitely would, just raising a question).

And given Covid's probably not going to disappear from the continent any time soon, how long would we need to keep our borders closed into the future?

I would agree that given NZ's isolated geographical location, and presumably lack of travel to other countries even normally, it can 'get away' with closing borders for much longer than somewhere like the UK. There is presumably quite a lot of travel to Australia, but I think (?) Aus<->NZ travel was/is not restricted?
It was then we had a trans tasman bubble which opened and closed depending on if a state had a covid issue.
 

brad465

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Furthermore the UK is particularly connected with other countries in Europe in terms of travel and immigration, despite the Conservatives' apparent attempts to severely restrict it.

If we'd adopted a 'complete elimination' strategy in 2020 would we still need to have our borders closed now? (Not saying we definitely would, just raising a question).

And given Covid's probably not going to disappear from the continent any time soon, how long would we need to keep our borders closed into the future?

I would agree that given NZ's isolated geographical location, and presumably lack of travel to other countries even normally, it can 'get away' with closing borders for much longer than somewhere like the UK. There is presumably quite a lot of travel to Australia, but I think (?) Aus<->NZ travel was/is not restricted?
I don't think we could ever have achieved a NZ or Australia level of infections, even if we had the same levels of lockdown and border restrictions, because we rely very heavily on imports, especially by road and rail to/from the continent, which would have been extremely difficult to have managed from a covid perspective.
 

Pakenhamtrain

Member
Joined
26 Jan 2014
Messages
779
Location
Melbourne, Australia
There was the somewhat soft launch of our covid passport thing today:
The Victorian government rolled out trials at 14 venues across the state on Monday to test its soon-to-be implemented "vaccinated economy".

When Victoria reaches its next immunisation target of 70 per cent double vaccination, projected to be on or before October 26, businesses such as hairdressers and restaurants will be able to reopen to fully vaccinated customers.

When the state reaches 80 per cent double vaccination, projected to be around November 5, a wider range of businesses such as nightclubs, gyms and all retail stores will be able to serve fully vaccinated customers.

Patrons will have to prove their full vaccination status to access venues and businesses in the coming months.

It came as the state government unveiled a new advertising campaign on Monday promoting vaccination as the "ticket" to access services.

I chucked my Covid vaccination certificate on(Which I got Friday after my 2nd shot) Took all of 30 seconds to add to the app.


In the latest update Melbourne has officially left lockdown.
 
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Smidster

Member
Joined
23 Oct 2014
Messages
418
New Zealand have now announced there "living with Covid" plan that will kick in once 90% in all health regions are vaccinated.

They will remain much much more cautious than others, including in "green" areas and will have a comprehensive vaccine passport that is only marginally less restrictive than Latvia / Lithuania. The VP won't be a legal requirement but businesses that don't use it face capacity limits and increased distancing.

That is even if they get 90% - Very few places around the world have reached those levels.

For once I prefer our current approach
 

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