Epidemiologist Michael Baker said the Government's approach to reopening the border is "less cautious" than the recommendations made.
In the latest episode of On the Tiles, recorded before the latest Covid-19 lockdown began, the University of Otago professor joined Derek Cheng and Thomas Coughlan to discuss the Government's plans to reopen the border.
Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced on August 12th, in response to a report from Sir David Skegg, that the Government planned to begin trialling at-home isolation or shorter MIQ for vaccinated travellers returning from select countries, with the plan to eventually allow vaccinated travellers from low-risk countries to travel without any or limited restrictions.
When the plan was announced, expressions of interest were due to begin in September, with the trial set as taking place between October and December.
Asked earlier this month if lockdown had changed or delayed these plans, Ardern said that the plans had not changed dramatically and risk-profiling for countries would continue, though no further details have been released publicly yet.
Speaking on today's episode, Baker said that Sir David's report featured three letters, the last of which was "quite pessimistic" about the future of the Covid-19 pandemic.
"I think the tone got a lot less ambitious, and a lot less certain about how we could predict what could be the case in six months' time.
"I think a month is a long time in a pandemic, so six months is almost an entirety about what might be happening by the first quarter of next year."
Baker also spoke to the effectiveness of vaccines and their importance in the reopening plan, the need for booster shots, what we can learn from countries that have reopened, and how anti-virals could be a key part of our Covid future.