Fifteen months after total isolation from the country, New Zealand businesses need foreign workers. But opinion polls show that people are not in favor of reopening borders quickly.
The “Hermit Nation” strategy, which relies entirely on closing borders for residents, has so far been very successful in New Zealand. The country can show a jealous record in the fight against Govt-19: a total of 2,822 cases of contamination and 26 deaths related to the corona virus have been recorded since the onset of the epidemic.
But after fifteen months of this regime, companies face a shortage of capacity, which increases costs and begins to affect productivity, Report it Financial Times :
Restaurant owners, in particular, are facing a shortage of such staff, who have recently staged demonstrations across the country, demanding that the government relax visa rules for foreign workers. ”
Still, New Zealand has one drawback to the strategy: a very low vaccination rate. According to the latest figures available, only 11.7% of the population has been fully vaccinated to date. “Until vaccination rates reach where herd immunity is possible, companies should be satisfied with the steady contraction of local labor, experts say.”
A poll commissioned by the prime minister’s services shows that more than half the people fear that Australia and the Cook Islands will open borders beyond the limited travel bubbles to the two neighbors. New Zealand immediately, Refers to the information portal Subject. Less than 84% of those questioned continue to support the total closure of borders for travelers from “high-risk countries”.
The only concessions currently offered to foreign workers in New Zealand: Wellington has relaxed the rules for applying for residence permits for those already in the country, to encourage them to stay, and 17,000 professionals who are qualified in the trade are still allowed to enter the country as “essentials”.
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