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Opposition Leader Simon Bridges has criticised the Government's response to Covid-19, saying it has held New Zealand back from leaving lockdown level 4 earlier.
He said the decision to stay locked down was because the Government hadn't done the groundwork required to reduce the level now.
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"New Zealand is being held back because the Government has not used this time to ensure best practice of testing and tracing and the availability of PPE hasn't been at the standard it should have been.
"The rate of testing for the first half of lockdown was low, work has only just begun on surveillance testing to confirm whether community transmission is occurring. Tracing is the biggest challenge and experts have identified major shortcomings in the methods being used by the Government.
"Rapid and easily accessible testing for workers with symptoms will be essential to give small businesses the confidence needed to get back to work."
ACT Leader David Seymour said the Government has made the right decision but now needs to clarify the rules so safe activity can resume.
"There must also be a renewed focus on support for the narrowing range of sectors who remain severely restricted at Alert Level 3. Sectors such as tourism, hospitality, some retail, and event centres will now bear the brunt of the cost for a wider public benefit. In these circumstances there is a stronger case for targeted support for those sectors which cannot operate even at Alert Level 3.
"The Government has been slow to support small and medium-sized enterprises in particular who face diminished cashflows due to Government policy. The Government must provide support for ongoing expenses such as rental payments that are not covered by the Government's wage subsidy.
"However, most businesspeople would much rather be earning a dollar than taking one from the taxpayer. For these firms, it is essential the Government continues to clarify the rules of the game with haste.
"We welcome the Government's commitment to allowing 'safe' businesses to operate, however it is essential that the rules be clarified."