The extension was announced on April 11 by NZ Prime Minister Chris Hipkins, who noted that his cabinet performed a "difficult balancing act" and had to "weigh a number of things quite carefully." Under NZ law, those who test positive for COVID-19 must isolate for seven days from when they first show symptoms.
"The isolation period serves not just to relieve pressure on the health system and result in fewer people being infected," said Hipkins. "But actually, there is a labor market incentive for this as well."
According to the prime minister, Wellington has plans to evaluate a somewhat more relaxed system that could allow people to return to work more quickly after testing negative over the summer. He also insinuated that the quarantine policy could possibly be eschewed entirely in 2024, though he has not firmly committed to a timetable.
"We are heading toward a point where COVID-19 will become normal," Hipkins remarked, estimating that this could happen "certainly at the latest by the end of the winter."
Other NZ officials also defended the move to extend the mandatory quarantine for COVID-positive individuals.
"That doesn't mean that we want the measures to stay in place forever. We certainly all want to see them go," said NZ Deputy Prime Minister Carmel Sepuloni. "But right at the beginning of winter is not the time that we see it as the time to ease up on restrictions."
NZ Health Minister Dr. Ayesha Verrall also shared the same sentiments, saying: "We know isolation for COVID-19 cases is the best way to break the chain of transmission to make sure people aren't passing on the virus and getting other people sick. Isolation remains effective in managing spread and keeping case numbers down, and it also helps reduce pressure on our hospital services."
At least one opposition politician voiced out his disagreement with the extension of the mandatory quarantine.
David Seymour, leader of the ACT party in the NZ House of Representatives, called the decision "a kind of hermit kingdom redux, 2023 edition." He also blasted the ruling NZ Labor Party that Hipkins is part of for "treating adults like kids" and "putting costs on the economy like money is no object." Seymour also cited several nations that have dropped isolation requirements for those that tested positive for COVID-19.
"In the U.K., isolation has been voluntary since last September. Australia's national cabinet ended mandatory isolation requirements last October. Singapore's government decommissioned its COVID-19 website in February," said the opposition lawmaker. "They've really moved on."
During the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, NZ became an example of medical tyranny with its draconian lockdown mandates under Hipkins' predecessor Jacinda Ardern. These mandates contributed to the country's zero-COVID status for the longest time, at the cost of people's health freedom. (Related: New Zealand rolls out mandatory coronavirus quarantine camps, and its disarmed population is now powerless to stop it.)
NZ is one of the few remaining countries that mandate quarantines for people who test positive for COVID-19. Italy still requires COVID-positive people to isolate for five days. South Korea also requires a seven-day isolation period, but plans to cut this back to five days.
Head over to MedicalTyranny.com for more stories about COVID-19 mandates in New Zealand.
Watch this video about New Zealand's forced quarantine camps for those refusing COVID-19 tests.
This video is from the Amazing Word Ministries channel on Brighteon.com.