First, it was the Wānaka-bound Auckland couple, then it was a truck driver. Now it is Toi Ohomai students and a remanded prisoner.
The alert level boundary south of Auckland is leaking like a sieve.
Not all of the above examples are a fair comparison. The Auckland couple flouted the rules while the latter three all had permission to cross the boundary.
The truck driver crossed the border to make essential deliveries and was doing important work.
The three Toi Ohomai students who left Auckland to attend class in Tauranga followed all the right protocols including contacting the Ministry of Health for guidance, producing negative Covid tests, and relevant documents to border staff.
The Mt Eden prisoner was remanded to the Waikato and his address would have been subject to an approval process.
In my view, the students and prisoner should never have been given permission to cross the boundary.
Students can study online and the prisoner could have been temporarily remanded to an alternative corrections facility or address.
Being too lenient with the rules now means Covid-19 has been detected in the Waikato. We have taken two steps back.
The solution, in my non-expert opinion, is twofold.
The Government needs to come down harder on exemptions and people need to play their part.
Exemptions to travel between alert levels need to be limited even further.
As of Monday morning, 5324 applications for an exemption to travel across alert levels had been received. Of those, 232 had been approved and 3976 declined.
The percentage approved is slim, but as we can see, it takes only one case. This whole Delta outbreak started with one case.
I acknowledge Aucklanders have had it rough with a five-week-long, and counting, lockdown. However, it seems not everyone is playing their part.
People need to rethink applying for exemptions. Students who can study online should not be applying.
Essential workers should not use this as an excuse to cross boundaries.
While the whole of New Zealand is vulnerable to Covid-19 outbreaks, some communities are more so than others.
As reported this week, young people with underlying health conditions are "driving up" the vulnerability of Rotorua's population, and age "stands out" as a factor that makes Tauranga's population vulnerable.
According to Te Pūnaha Matatini research, Tauranga had a "quite-high transmission risk", partly attributed to people travelling from Tauranga to Auckland or Hamilton for work.
All communities are vulnerable. Alert level borders need to be tighter because if the Auckland border keeps leaking, there will be no end in sight.