8:30 am – The government “is working on a range of options” to ensure Aucklanders can travel this summer, Jacinda Ardern told The AM Show.
As the epicenter of the ongoing outbreak, Auckland remains isolated from the rest of the country, with police-operated checkpoints guarding its northern and southern borders. Aucklanders can only leave the region, which is currently on Alert Level 3, if they have obtained a waiver certifying that their trip is for an essential reason. Likewise, those in regions currently on Alert Level 2 cannot enter Auckland without a waiver.
Authorities have said fully vaccinated Aucklanders will be able to leave the region for Christmas to reunite with friends and family, but questions have arisen over how the regional border will be managed.
An estimated 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles hope to cross the Auckland border each day, which will present “logistical challenges,” Ardern said. It is understood that all motorists attempting to cross the border will be required to present proof of a negative test as well as proof of vaccination.
“We’ve never had a hard land border in New Zealand … The problem we’ll have over the summer, 30,000 to 40,000 vehicles a day looking to move – at this point checking things out like the tests and vaccination certificates for every occupant in a car, you can imagine the logistical challenges that this presents, ”said Ardern.
“We have worked on a range of options to make sure we meet the goal we have set for Aucklanders to be able to travel.
“We made the commitment – we know we have to allow people to move, but this is a once-in-a-generation pandemic situation. We are trying to establish something that New Zealand does. never had historically. The closest thing we have are toll plazas … we won’t, in the long run, have a land border. “