Border plans to be revealed next week, according to Covid-19.

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Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern will announce whether and how the government intends to open the country’s borders next week.

Next Thursday, August 12, Ardern will outline the government’s future approach to border and public health measures, as well as release expert advice on how to open the border safely.

It comes after Australia announced a month ago that it would halve the number of people allowed into the country in order to achieve high vaccination rates in preparation for a wider opening of the border.

However, New Zealand has since suspended quarantine-free travel with Australia for an eight-week period as several states work to control Delta variant outbreaks.

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Epidemiologist Sir David Skegg has been leading the advisory group. Photo: Screenshot/New Zealand Parliament

The group of experts, lead by epidemiologist Sir David Skegg, was set up in April to advise the government on crucial Covid-19 decisions, particularly on border management.

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They were tasked with reporting to the government on:

  • Vaccination rates and scenarios should the borders reopen
  • Interpreting scientific data for any decisions around the border
  • Public health protections
  • Consideration of the “residual risk of the non-immunised population and the associated health system capacity needs” once borders open

Other panel members include immunisation specialist Dr Nikki Turner; epidemiologist Prof Philip Hill; Auckland Hospital immunology lead clinician Dr Maia Brewerton; infectious diseases expert Prof David Murdoch; biostatistical expert Dr Ella Iosua; and special advisors Rodney Jones and Shaun Hendy.

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