NEW ZEALAND – During an interview earlier in October, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern admitted that the country’s approach to Covid by way of policies will create a two-tiered system, where the unvaccinated will not have access to the same rights as the vaccinated.
A journalist with the New Zealand Herald paraphrased Prime Minister Ardern during the interview to understand if there was a mutual understanding of what New Zealand’s Covid policies would in effect accomplish:
“You’ve basically said, and you probably don’t see it like this, but two different classes of people if you’re vaccinated or unvaccinated. If you’re vaccinated you have all these rights.”
Prime Minister Ardern didn’t shy away from the characterization that the journalist presented, concurring with how her approach was phrased:
“That is what it is.”
The effort, according to Prime Minister Ardern, is to boost vaccination rates within the country. On October 22nd, Prime Minister Ardern announced that 90% of New Zealanders needed to be fully vaccinated in each region before restrictions can be loosened.
Utilizing what’s been referred to as a traffic-light system to describe the current Covid policies, a “red” setting within a region would allow vaccinated people to move about freely and use services seemingly without restriction.
However, for the unvaccinated in a “red” setting, said individuals cannot gather in any groups larger than 10 people and are prohibited from utilizing “close contact” businesses – such as bars, restaurants, and gyms.
Prime Minister Ardern boasted of this distinction between the unvaccinated and vaccinated population in New Zealand, saying:
“If you are still unvaccinated, not only will you be more at risk of catching Covid-19, but many of the freedoms others enjoy will be out of reach… No one wants that to happen but we need to minimize the threat of the virus, which is now mainly spreading amongst unvaccinated people.”
As of October 24th, only 58% of the country’s population is fully vaccinated.
While the implementation of the new traffic-light system in New Zealand marks an end to the broadly restrictive approach to Covid that imposed banned international travel and strict lockdown measures when cases cropped up – it’s apparent that the unvaccinated population has been reduced to that of a second-class citizen.
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