COMMENT:

The thing that upsets me the most about the quarantine stuff up with those two women is the risk that this is going to make it harder to start opening our borders.

It's happening already.

I've seen an article arguing that we can't possibly "expect unrestricted international travel with places like Australia" if we can't do quarantining properly.

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And I've seen people arguing that compassionate exemptions should be cancelled across the board.

But travel's not the problem. Compassionate leave is not the problem.

The problem is the Ministry of Health. They have rules designed to make both of those things safe for us, and they fail to follow their own rules.

This isn't the only problem we've had with the ministry's quarantine and managed isolation facilities. These places look like a joke.

One News last week showed footage of people in "isolation" in a hotel mixing with each other in the smoko room. One of these people was in their first week of isolation, another was leaving to come into the community the very next day - which isn't doing much to avoid cross-infection from new arrivals, is it?

One News also played footage of people being taken on managed walks through Auckland city and having unsuspecting punters walk right through the middle of the crowd supposed to be in isolation.

We've had other people now saying they were also not obligated to do tests before leaving the hotels.

The Ministry of Health is letting us all down.

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We should demand that the Ministry of Health and Dr Ashley Bloomfield pick up their act and do their job properly.
We should demand that the Ministry of Health and Dr Ashley Bloomfield pick up their act and do their job properly.

We could make excuses for it at the start when Ashley Bloomfield didn't have enough tests, and didn't know much PPE he had, and couldn't get his team to contact trace properly.

It was starting to take the mickey when lock down was supposed to end but couldn't because the Health Ministry still couldn't contact trace properly, according to a leading epidemiologist.

But now it's nearly three months since the start of lockdown and they still can't contact trace properly to even 20 per cent of what they still aren't testing properly.

This isn't good enough.

We shouldn't give up on a transtasman bubble and the jobs that would save. And we shouldn't give up on basic human decency like letting people say goodbye to loved ones.

We should demand that the Health Ministry pick up its act and do its job properly.

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They are supposed to be our defence against further lockdowns and more economic damage and they are stuffing it up and letting us down.

* Heather du Plessis-Allan is the drive host for Newstalk ZB, weekdays 4-7pm.