National leader Judith Collins wants unvaccinated MIQ workers to be removed from the frontlines tomorrow as she says it's putting the whole country at risk.
She has also called into question the Government border-testing regime after head of MIQ, Brigadier Jim Bliss, yesterday failed to explicitly express confidence in the routine testing system.
"I think the fact that he can't express confidence that this [routine testing] is happening is an indictment on the Government," Collins said.
The Government has been facing heat after it was revealed that two unvaccinated frontline security workers, stationed at the Grand Millennium MIQ facility, caught Covid-19.
According to Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, there are still upwards of 500 MIQ workers yet to receive a Covid-19 vaccine.
This is despite the fact the Government has been offering these workers the jab since February 20.
They now have until April 30 to get the vaccine – if not; they will be removed from the frontlines, Ardern said.
"If there is not an option to redeploy them, then it will be up to the employer to work through what happens with that individual, but they cannot work in MIQ," she told media yesterday.
But Collins said this was not good enough.
"It is simply unacceptable that when the only way Covid-19 can come into this country is through the border, we have our frontline staff and border workers not vaccinated."
She said it was "imperative" that this starts now.
Act leader David Seymour said the Government should use the powers afforded to it under the Covid-19 Act to tell unvaccinated frontline MIQ staff if they haven't got the jab by this Sunday, "don't come in on Monday".
"Stop pussyfooting about and take the necessary steps to protect New Zealanders and the economy from another outbreak of Covid-19," he said of Ardern.
But, speaking to media yesterday, director general of health Ashley Bloomfield said this would not be logistically possible.
"You can't immediately withdraw 10 or 20 per cent of your workforce and still run the facilities."
Collins also called into question the MIQ testing and border-worker testing regime.
Yesterday, head of MIQ Jim Bliss told reporters that his officials were investigating why one of the newly Covid-positive security guards had not been recently tested as part of the routine testing rounds.
Pressed on if the routine testing was occurring as per the 14-day requirements, Bliss refused to say he was confident.
Collins said Bliss was simply "stating exactly what he feels".
"[That] is: despite the fact that we were told on numerous occasions that border staff were being tested for Covid-19, on certain occasions, it turned out that they weren't."